Recognising Ritual: The Case of Campanayuq Rumi
Matsumoto, Yuichi, Antiquity
Though it has long been acknowledged that the archaeological study of prehistoric religion and ritual is difficult (Hawkes 1954), there has been a revival of interest in recent years (e.g. Renfrew 1985, 1994; Bradley 2005; Fogelin 2007), and these have seen the development of new ways of studying ritual practice through the study of material evidence (e.g. Walker 1995, 1998, 2002; Burger & Salazar-Burger 1998; Brown 2003; McAnany & Hodder 2009).
This paper focuses on the problem of distinguishing ritual from elite origins in an assemblage, using a case study from the Early Horizon (800-200 BC) centre of Campanayuq Rumi, located in the south-central Andean highlands of Ayacucho, Peru. During the period between c. 1000 and 500 BC, Campanayuq Rumi maintained strong religious ties with a large-scale pilgrimage/ceremonial centre, Chavin de Huantar, located in the central highlands, 550km to the north (Figure 1). Recognising the references in a midden assemblage led to the conclusion that the people at Campanayuq Rumi and at Chavin de Huantar embraced the same religious ideology, and that the Campanayuq Rumi midden was the result of 'ceremonial trash' resulting from religious performance.
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The growth of CharOn de Huantar has been closely related to the emergence of civilisation in the central Andes (e.g. Tello 1960; Lumbreras 1989; Burger 1992). For example, Richard Burger argued that Chavin de Huantar was founded around 1000 BC and was transformed into the principal civic/ceremonial centre of a pan-regional religious network around 500 BC (Burger 2008). According to Burger, with the expansion of an influential religious ideology (Chavin cult), radical socio-economic transformations occurred in the central Andes including the appearance of hierarchical social organisation and the acceleration of long-distance trade (Burger 1988, 1992). More recent studies of Chavin de Huantar led by John Rick and colleagues have concluded that Chavin de Huantar was founded between 1500 and 1200 BC (Rick et al. 2010). In addition, they consider that Chavin de Huantar was not the only centre that influenced other coeval centres but rather it was primus inter pares (Kembel & Rick 2004) and that the socio-economic change occurred gradually (Rick 2005, 2008).
Despite this ongoing controversy about its chronological position and relations with other centres, most archaeologists agree that Chavin de Huantar was of central importance in the emergence of socio-political complexity in the central Andes (e.g. Lumbreras 1989; Burger 1992; Rick 2008). Regardless of whether a religious ideology expanded from Chavin de Huantar, or alternatively was generated through long-term interactions among the various centres, many of the ceremonial centres in the central Andes seem to have shared the same religious ideology with Chavin de Huantar during the earlier half of the Early Horizon (800-500 BC).
Excavations at Campanayuq Rumi
Campanayuq Rumi is located at an elevation of 3600m asl in the Peruvian south-central highlands (Figure 1). The site is situated approximately 600m to the east of the modern town of Vilcashuaman. It is composed of a monumental core that extends over more than 3.Sha, and two residential areas that make up an additional 11ha of settlement (Matsumoto 2010). Investigations between 2007 and 2008 have provided a dated cultural sequence divided into two phases: Phase 1, 1000-700 BC and Phase 2, 700-500 BC (Matsumoto 2010; Matsumoto & Carero 2010). The radiocarbon dates demonstrate that Campanayuq Rumi appeared suddenly as a large ceremonial centre around 1000 BC. A U-shaped platform layout (Figure 2), fine stonemasonry, a gallery and a sunken rectangular plaza (Figure 3) show a clear emulation of architectural conventions present at Chavin de Huantar, and thus imply that Campanayuq Rumi was heavily influenced by this site. The pottery assemblage of Phase 1 was composed of several different styles distributed in the south-central highlands. In Phase 2, stylistic elements of Chavin de Huantar were also frequently recognised in the pottery assemblage. Our excavations revealed that personal ornaments and burials with offerings began to appear in this phase, which implies the emergence of an asymmetric distribution of wealth.
A rich midden at Campanayuq Rumi, signalled by an exceptionally high density of surface finds, was located in the south-western area of the platform complex and sampled by a quadrat (Unit P2, Figure 4; located on Figure 2). The stratigraphy was composed of 12 layers, the top two of which were disturbed by modern agricultural activities (Figure 5). Undisturbed layers 3-12 belonged to Phase 2, the Early Horizon, and from these, faunal remains, snuffing paraphernalia, complete obsidian points and personal ornaments were recovered and analysed.
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Exceptionally high amounts of faunal remains were obtained from Unit P2 (NISP = 3071). Camelid remains dominated (Figure 6), accounting for 95.54% of the total assemblage of Unit P2 (NISP = 2398). A high proportion of camelid remains was also common to other excavation units. However, the Unit P2 assemblage included many other species such as cervids (deer), birds and guinea pigs that were not recognised in other excavations (Vasquez & Tham 200%). Unit P2 provided 145 camelid specimens that could be used to identify age, such as teeth, maxillae and mandibles. The use pattern (Figure 7) was quite different from that seen in contemporary llama and alpaca herds of the southern highlands of Peru (Miller 1979, 2003: 39; Miller & Burger 1995: 448). The most important difference is seen in the exploitation of young camelids. In the case of Unit P2, more than 50% of the camelids had been slaughtered before three years of age, and nearly 80% had died before five years of age. In contrast, the contemporary south highlands data showed over 70% survival at three years of age, and this does not decrease much at five years of age (Miller 1979).
The difference between P2 and contemporary herds can be explained as a difference in meat consumption. As Miller and Burger (1995) discuss, the low prestige of camelids as food in contemporary urban centres, and the lack of demand for high-quality camelid meat, cause modern herders to maintain their animals alive for as long as they are productive (Miller & Burger 1995: 445). In contrast, the data from P2 clearly indicate that there was a strong demand for young tender meat for feasts. The data of the Janabarriu Phase (600-300 BC) at Chavin de Huantar are important in comparison with those of Campanayuq Rumi because of its contemporaneity with the P2 context. The camelid mortuary pattern in the Janabarriu Phase at Chavin de Huantar demonstrated differential consumption of animal products depending on social status. While 60% of the camelids consumed in the low-status sector were four years of age or older, in the high-status sector 80% of the camelids were butchered before or at three years of age (Miller & Burger 1995: 447). Thus, the age at death curve of Unit P2 at Campanayuq Rumi shows closer similarities to the pattern of the high-status sector than to the lower one at Chavin de Huantar.
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Thirteen bases of jars with organic residues were analysed for starch grains (Vasquez & Tham 200%). Among them, potato starch grains were identified from two specimens, while maize was recognised from four specimens. The repeated presence of maize in Unit P2 may suggest that maize beer (chicha) was consumed.
In total 118 bone artefacts were recovered in our excavations. All of them dated to Phase 2 and more than 95% (n = 113) came from Unit P2, which further demonstrates the uniqueness of the context. There were seven examples of snuffing paraphernalia that are especially relevant to ritual activities. These include six snuffing spoons (Figure 8) and a tube, which were probably used to inhale hallucinogens. The sculptures of humanoid heads at Chavin de Huantar frequently show expressions of mucal flow in association with wrinkled facial expressions (Burger 1992; Rick 2006). These traits observed in the sculptures are said to indicate nasal snuffing of hallucinogenic drugs such as Anadenanthera colubrina (Torres 2008; Burger 2011), and the narrow spoons from Unit P2 seem to be suitable for nasal snuffing. Residue analysis of the spoons carried out by Victor Vasquez and Teresa Rosales Tham also support this view. They identified oxidised calcium and oxidised aluminium that could have been used for the purpose of extracting hallucinogenic elements (Vasquez & Tham 2010).
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In addition to these snuffing tools, 16 spatula-like tools were recovered. According to Rick (2006: 105), the same types of bone artefacts are common in contemporaneous deposits at Chavin de Huantar, and they could have been used for drug ingestion. Although clear evidence of snuffing trays was not recognised from Unit P2, Rick suggests that camelid ulnas could have been used as snuffing trays (Rick 2006: 105), which might also have been the case at Campanayuq Rumi. The use of hallucinogens in ritual feasting events was also reported in the Janabarriu Phase context of the Wacheqsa sector of Chavin de Huantar (Mesia 2007: 133-4). Moreover, the central role of hallucinogenic snuff has been well established at Chavin de Huantar through analyses of iconography and the presence of mortars and snuffing paraphernalia (Burger 1992, 2011; Rick 2006; Torres 2008).
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Forty-three complete or semi-complete obsidian points (Figure 9a-c) and an atlatl (Figure 9d) were found in the Unit P2 refuse. As described above, faunal analysis revealed that hunting wild animals played only a minor role at Campanayuq Rumi. Interestingly, obsidian points from this context did not show much use-wear or traces of re-sharpening, which is a clear difference from the heavily-used and deformed points excavated in domestic areas (Matsumoto 2010). The unusual number of points that did not exhibit use-wear suggests that the points were produced only for specific activities and discarded as refuse at the end of their short-term use.
Several artefacts from P2 are probably related to special costumes or personal ornaments. The most surprising find was a single gold piece that measures 2.3 x 1.1 cm (Figure 10a). This piece was cut from a gold sheet and depicts a serpent head with an eccentric eye embossed on it. This type of serpent is one of the typical motifs of Chavin religious iconography used in both the Lanzon and Raimondi Stone sculptures (e.g. Rowe 1967). In addition, ceramic ear spools, a bead of exotic green stone (Figure 10b), bone objects with Chavin iconography (Figure 10c-d) and an anthracite mirror could all be related to special costume elements. Furthermore, a probable stamp for body painting showed an S-shaped design that is a common decorative motif of the artefacts from the Campanayuq 2 Phase and the Janabarriu Phase at Chavin de Huantar.
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The architecture of Campanayuq Rumi shares several traits with early public architecture in the Andes, and corresponds to the general image of a ceremonial centre loosely defined as "a place where ceremonies/rituals pertaining to religious beliefs took place" (Silverman 1994: 1). On the other hand, in the case of the early ceremonial centres in the Andes, residential architecture of the emerging leader or elite class could have been constructed in and/or near the public architecture (e.g. Burger 1984; Pozorski & Pozorski 1986; Tdlenbach 1986). Therefore, for the purpose of understanding ritual activities in the early ceremonial architecture in the Andes, it is necessary to take these two possibilities into consideration: public rituals, or elite domestic activities including domestic rituals.
As Moore suggested, public architecture in the Andes "reflects the transformation of the initial, preliminal phases of rite into a more visible public spectacle" (Moore 1996: 166). The combination of a sunken rectangular plaza and stonemasonry platforms suggests large-scale public gatherings where dances or ritual processions could have been carried out. Since these activities are sometimes expressed in murals and stone sculptures of contemporary centres (e.g. Lumbreras 1977; Burger 1992; Rick 2006), iconographic analysis can provide important references to evaluate archaeological contexts and help differentiate ritual activities from elite domestic activities.
Since the scale of our excavations around the public architecture was relatively small it may be that an elite residential area was extended around the platform complex, and thus P2 may be interpreted as originating in elite consumption. The butchery pattern of the P2 faunal remains shows strong similarities to that of the elite sector at Chavin de Huantar. The consumption of young, tender meat might have been a privilege of the elite class, and the personal ornaments from P2 could suggest that they were part of normal elite clothing rather than special costume for ritual activities. In this case, consumption of hallucinogens might have been a part of the domestic ritual of the elite class.
However, the religious iconography seen at Chavin de Huantar (e.g. Roe 2008) implies practices that are reflected in the P2 assemblage. The diverse ritual activities depicted there included the inhalation of hallucinogens, probably carried out by shamans or priests for the purpose of experiencing shamanic transformations into supernatural beings (e.g. Burger 1992; Sharon 2000; Rick 2006; Tortes 2008). The large head sculptures were projected from the upper part of the exterior walls of the main architecture and they represent the transformation process from human to mythical figure that is a common theme in shamanism worldwide (Eliade 1964). This can be interpreted as "the drug induced metamorphosis of the religious leaders into their jaguar or crested-eagle alter egos" (Burger 1992:157). In addition to the high visibility of sculpted heads, the presence of these mythical figures in the sculptures of the public space (e.g. Lumbreras 1977) suggests the importance of hallucinogens in public rituals.
Iconographic data indicate that hunting tools also figured in ceremonial events at Chavin de Huantar. Some of the stone sculptures present figures with elaborate dress and personal ornaments carrying atlatls and spears with points (Rowe 1967: fig. 20; Rick 2008: fig. 1.15; Roe 2008: fig. 7.11). In addition, there is a sculpture that shows figures with spears as part of a procession scene in association with two figures carrying ceremonial paraphernalia, including a Strombus (conch shell) trumpet and Spondylus shell (Rick 2008: fig. 1.15). Thus the numerous unused or rarely used obsidian points and the atlatl found at Campanayuq Rumi, suggest that hunting or warfare might have been part of the ritual references in religious ceremonies, and the presence of a piece of gold jewellery, an exotic green stone bead, ear spools and an S-shaped stamp for body painting indicate the use of elaborate ceremonial costumes. By the same token, the faunal and botanical data suggest that young, tender meat and maize beer were served at special ceremonial events.
William Walker (1995) observed that special treatment in discarding and desacralising sacred or religious objects can be observed cross-culturally, and he integrates them under the term 'ceremonial trash'. Among the examples of 'ceremonial trash' cited by Walker, that reported for the Solomon Islanders (Davenport 1986) shows close parallels to the data presented in this paper. In the Solomon Islands people discarded ritual objects, including elaborate serving bowls used especially for funeral rituals with food remains. According to Davenport, once the object is used in a ritual, a spiritual dimension is added to it. In this case, social and religious values replace economic ones. Davenport also indicates that the Solomon Islanders do not have desacralising rites for these objects used in ritual activities. He states, "the normal practice for dispensing with sacred objects, which includes even leftover foods, trash, and garbage from sacred meals, is to isolate them and allow them slowly to disintegrate" (Davenport 1986:107).
If this concept is applied to the site formation processes of Unit P2, it can be best considered as a deposit of stratified trash from repeated ceremonial events that took place on the summit of the platform at Campanayuq Rumi.
Emulation of ceremonial activities suggests that people at Chavin de Huantar and Campanayuq Rumi shared specific religious experiences generated by similar ceremonies, which reflects the embracing of the religious ideology of Chavin de Huantar referred to as the 'Chavin cult' (Burger 1988, 1992). Although it has been hypothesised that the iconography seen in the Chavin stone sculptures serves as the model for actual ritual activities (Burger 1992), it is also clear that some of the themes of the sculptures are mythical (e.g. Lathrap 1977; Roe 2008). If, as Eliade proposed (1963), rituals re-enact myths, the parallels observed in the archaeological remains of Unit P2 and the stone sculptures of the circular plaza at Chavin de Huantar (e.g. Lumbreras 1977; Rick 2008) could suggest that religious myths were shared between the two ceremonial centres.
This article has explored a possible way to identify and reconstruct ritual activities based on contextual and iconographic information, which fit with Walker's definition of ritual behaviour and ritual objects as "material process comprised of people interacting with artefacts" (Walker 1998: 246). While deposits emanating from elite feasting and ritual performance may look similar, the variety within depositional episodes encountered here, and the presence of ornaments and hunting implements as well as high-status faunal remains, imply an enlarged symbolic repertoire. In addition, iconographic analyses and ethnographic analogies can complement this type of behavioural approach not only by hinting at the probable nature of ritual activities, but also the beliefs or symbolism behind them.
The fieldwork at Campanayuq Rumi was conducted under Resolucion Directoral Nacional No. 1376/INC. I wish to thank the Yale Albers Fund, Coe Fund, National Science Foundation (BCS-0950796) and Matsushita international Foundation for sponsoring the archaeological researches of Campanayuq Rumi. Yuri Cavero and students of the Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga greatly contributed both in the field and lab. I would also like to thank Richard Burger, Jason Nesbitt, Katherine Schreiber, Jeffrey Quilter, Kevin Lane and Peter Kaulicke for making useful comments. I am grateful to several people at Dumbarton Oaks, especially Joanne Pillsbury, for providing an excellent environment in which to complete this article.
Received: 2 February 2011; Revised: 16 November 2011; Accepted: 24 January 2012
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Yuichi Matsumoto, National Museum of Ethnology, 10-1SenriExpoPark, Suita, Osaka565-8511,Japan (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)…
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Publication information: Article title: Recognising Ritual: The Case of Campanayuq Rumi. Contributors: Matsumoto, Yuichi - Author. Journal title: Antiquity. Volume: 86. Issue: 333 Publication date: September 2012. Page number: 746+. © 2008 Antiquity Publications, Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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