Sites & cities that bear the name of Chiripa


Today in : Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
First trace of activity : ca. 15th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 1st century C.E

Description : The Chiripa culture existed between the Initial Period/Early Horizon, from 1400 to 850 BCE along the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. During the Early Horizon period, farmers maintained small gardens where quinoa and other plants grew and were harvested for consumption. Around 800 BCE, we find samples composed almost entirely of quinoa at Chiripa's social and political center, the Montículo (a type of mound) The Taraco Archaeological Project (TAP), directed by Dr. Christine Hastorf, is investigating the Early and Middle Formative occupation at Chiripa, 1500 BCE-100 CE TAP has subdivided this occupation into three phases: Early Chiripa (1500-1000 BCE), Middle Chiripa (1000-800 BCE), and Late Chiripa (800 BCE-100 CE), based on ceramic styles and architecture and agriculture. During the Middle Chiripa phase the population grew, and the village of Chiripa increased to 4.25 ha. The TAP excavations encountered no domestic architecture, but found one of the earliest examples of corporate architecture in the Lake Titicaca Basin: a huanca (semi-subterranean plaza/court), dating to 1000 BCE. The structure is trapezoidal and two meters deep with a white yellow clay floor and walls made of stone plastered with yellow clay. In Late Chiripa, from 800 BCE-100 CE, the Chiripa settlement grew to 7.7 ha and the inhabitants constructed new, more elaborate corporate structures. Early in the Late Chiripa phase, the structure "Choquehuanca" was no longer used and another sunken enclosure, "Llusco", was built in the southern portion of the site . Llusco was closed about 600 BCE, and construction of the site's most prominent feature, a 50-x-50-m platform mound called the Montículo, was begun. The Montículo was built in two phases. From 600-400 BCE, the Chiripa residents built a series of rectangular "Lower Houses", which were probably constructed around a small platform. The inhabitants closed the Lower House level around 400 BCE and began constructing the "Upper Houses," which were modified and used until around 100 CE. The final monument included a semi-subterranean court and an open ring of permanent adobe and rock structures. The Montículo served as public ritual space where ancestors were revered and food was served, and possibly stored, for group events.

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