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Bridging the Andean-Amazonian Divide: Examining Sociopolitical Developments at the Eastern Edge of the Andes

Ryan Clasby, University of Missouri, Saint Louis, Fellow 2016–2017

I made progress on my upcoming monograph, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the prehistory of the eastern Andean montane forest, a region long thought marginal to the development of Andean civilization. Building on my doctoral research from the Jaén region of the Peruvian Andes, I used archaeological data from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil to argue that complex societies developed early in the eastern montane forest, with active long-distance interaction networks that connected the Andes to Amazonia, thereby significantly affecting historical processes in each region. This monograph examines the shifting mechanisms by which this interaction took place. I also worked on an article that examines the idea that the Jaén region was producing and distributing ceremonial stone bowls as a way of participating in the Chavín religious cult. My article, “Examining Diachronic Changes in Sociopolitical Developments and Interregional Interaction in the Eastern Andean Montane Forest during the Early Horizon,” went to print for a peer-reviewed volume published by Yale University Press (New Perspectives on Early Andean Civilization: Interaction, Authority, and Socioeconomic Organization during the 1st and 2nd Millennia BC).