The Early Intermediate Period

Alvaro Higueras

Definition For the first time in the Andes we see societies developing with distinct artistic traditions: the Moche society, perhaps the most prominent of them all, on the North Coast, the Paracas and the Nasca societies on the South Coast, the Cajamarca in the North Highlands, the Recuay in the Central Highlands, and the Pukara society in the Titicaca Basin.

The iconography and handicraft techniques of all these societies is distinctively different, but they all share a continuity of the feline iconography, most of all on the North Coast, which they will all recreate and combine in a much more complex iconographic pantheon. Moche and Nazca iconographies are, perhaps, the most complex ones in Andean prehistory, with Moche iconography having been the most studied among Andean researchers for its complexity, varied narrative, and peculiar hierarchy of divinities.

Societies of this period qualify as the first full-blown state-level societies in the Andes. The features that make then different from the otherwise complex chiefdoms of the Formative Period are: territorial control of valleys beyond the one where are located their main centers, and the establishment of a military group that will counterbalance the preeminence of religious power that existed in the previous period. Another aspect of a state economy that has evolved drastically is economic specialization in labor organization, taxation, crafts guilds, and social hierarchy.
Time frame After the Formative Period and before the Middle Horizon.
Location of
societies

See the following resources:

MOCHE AND THE ANDEAN PYRAMID, Flash module by Tiwanakuarcheo.net

IRRIGATION ON THE NORTH COAST, Flash module by Tiwanakuarcheo.net

Links to other periods
Preceramic Period Initial Period Formative Period
Middle Horizon Late Intermediate Period Late Horizon
Introduction
Andean and Tiwanaku Archaeology Page

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