Institute of Archaeology


Viviana Siveroni

Viviana Siveroni

Household organization and social integration in the Late Prehispanic Period of the Nasca region, Peru


Email: viviana.siveroni.13@ucl.ac.uk
Section: World Archaeology


Household organization and social integration in the Late Prehispanic Period of the Nasca region, Peru

Social scientists commonly regard the formation of large nucleated settlements as a crucial step in the development of complex human societies, as increased population size and density are believed to correlate with qualitative changes in the nature of social and economic relationships between the individuals and households that make up those settlements. But is there a necessary, causal link between population nucleation and forms of social integration? Can we infer new modes of social, political and economic organisation from the formation of large, dense settlements?

My research addresses this question through a case study of the Late Prehispanic Period (henceforth LPP, 1100-1532 AD) of Nasca, on the South Coast of Peru, when a dispersed settlement pattern gave way to the formation of large nucleated settlements. Recent archaeological research identifies the LPP nucleation process as one important feature of the region's cultural trajectory. However, we are as yet in no position to describe in any detail the nature of integration underlying this process. My research aims at developing a household and communal-level understanding of LPP settlements by investigating how households -the basal building blocks of society-were organized internally, determining their core activities, and the ways households interacted with each other

My approach to delimiting individual co-residential units and their interrelationships is through a detailed analysis of residential architecture (micro-stratigraphic sequences of construction, and patterns of circulation within the excavated cluster of 20 conjoined structures) and the spatial distributions of archaeological proxies of basic household functions. I rely on site-level surface survey to assess how appropriate my interpretations are for the whole site. Finally, I situate these patterns in a wider context via attention to the settlement survey evidence already available for the whole region.


    • BA, Archaeology, Universidad Católica del Perú, PUCP, Perú, 1995.
    • MA, Anthropological Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, USA, 2002

    (in press) La producción doméstica de textiles en la ocupación prehispánica tardía de la región de Nasca: Una mirada desde Huayuri, Palpa/ Domestic textile production in Late Prehispanic Nasca: A view from Huayuri, Palpa. Nuevos Mundos Mundos Nuevos.

    2007 Stratigraphic Modeling and 3D Spatial-analysis using photogrammetry and Octree Spatial Decomposition. In: Digital Discovery. Exploring New Frontiers in Human Heritage, edited by Jeffrey Clark y Emily T. Hagemeister, CAA2006. Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Archaeolingua, Budapest. [with Hartmut Tschauner]

    2006 Mi casa es tu templo: Una visión alternativa de la Tradición Arquitectonica Kotosh/"My house is your temple: An alternative interpretation of the Kotosh Tradition". Arqueologia y Sociedad 17:121-148. [https://ucl.academia.edu/VivianaSiveroni]

    2005 On the ground and "6 feet under:" mobile GIS and photogrammetric approaches to building archaeological spatial databases in the field. Proceedings of the XVIth International Conference of the Association for History and Computing, Amsterdam. [https://ucl.academia.edu/VivianaSiveroni]

    Conference papers

    2014 Domestic interdependencies and social integration in the Late Prehispanic Period of Nasca, Peru. Graduate Student Conference, Institute of Archaeology, UCL; 2 May.

    2013 La producción doméstica de textiles en el período prehispánico tardío de Nasca: Una mirada desde Huayuri, Palpa/Textile domestic Production in Late Prehispanic Nasca: A view from Huayuri. VI International Conference on American Textiles, Quai Branly Museum, Paris; 29-30 Nov.

    2010 Houses, householders and herders: Investigations into the domestic economy of Compound 3 at Huayuri, Palpa. Paper presented at the South American Archaeology Seminar, UCL Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London, 10 May.

    2009 Herders, households and houses: Late Prehispanic herding at Huayuri. Paper presented at the Society for American Archaeology 74th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, April 22-25th.

    2008 Cómo sabemos que sabemos lo que sabemos: El caso de la Tradición de Templos Kotosh/How do we know what we know: The case of the Kotosh Temple Tradition. Paper presented at the "Conferencia de Arqueología en el Perú", Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, July.

    2006 Espacio residencial y organización doméstica: Un análisis comparativo de dos asentamientos prehispánicos tardíos en la costa peruana/Residential space and domestic organization: two prehispanic settlements in the coast of Peru. Paper presented at the "V Seminario de Arqueología UNFV: El uso y transformación del espacio en América precolonial: Hacia comprensiones sociales", Lima, August 24-25th, 2006. [with Hartmut Tschauner]