Digging Inside the Cuzcotuyo Complex

Guided by the results of the survey, the intrasite surface collections, and the auger tests, the most promising areas for excavation were selected. We dug sixteen units (2 x 2 m each) inside and outside the main building complex, revealing a total of 64 m2 of area until the sterile soil was reached. This, in turn, allowed us to have a complete sequence of the site.

The excavation of the main Cuzcotuyo building complex allowed us to reconstruct a complex occupational sequence divided into three main phases. First, the earliest pre-Inka occupation was underneath Room-4 and Room-5 and took the form of a scatter of artifacts. It had local Man- chachi Slate on Red pottery. Second, in the following Early Inka period, the main complex was constructed, and the two plazas became the foci of public activities. Judging by the sustained presence of pottery in the local Manchachi Slate on Red style, there was continuity in the use of indigenous cultural materials. Third, as part of a broader architectural renovation, the Late Inka occupation was marked by the deposition of a yellow clay layer throughout the whole building. At this time, the Eastern Plaza was no longer a public space, whereas the Western Plaza became the focus of public celebrations. This change was accompanied by a shift in the ceramic assemblage, characterized by a dominance of Guarani-Chiriguano ceramics at the expense of local wares.

 
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