Proyecto Jatanca-Huaca Colorada - Peru


Edward Swenson has participated in archaeological field research in the Jequetepeque Valley of northern Peru since 1997, and he is currently directing excavations of the large urban complex of Cañoncillo (Proyecto Jatanca-Huaca Colorada) located in the south side of the valley. A central objective of the research is to interpret how long-term processes of urbanization (400 BC-AD 800) were constituted by the everyday practices, identity politics, and religious values of Late Formative and Moche communities. Field investigations are designed to gauge how transformations in the construction of public architecture differently correlated with changes in ritual activity, economic production, consumption habits, and the configuration and experience of domestic space. Analysis of the historical interrelationships of different regimes of practice, as ultimately mediated by the built environment, will permit interpretation of the cultural particulars of urban power relations in the Jequetepeque region. Therefore, our research intends to make contributions to understanding the pre-industrial city, violence and subject formation, the archaeology of ritual and monumental architecture, and the politics of landscape and social memory. The Jatanca-Huaca Colorada Project has involved the participation of a number of undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Toronto, Peru, and other institutions in Canada and the United States.



Project Directors:


Professor Edward Swenson

Department of Anthropology


Dr. John Warner


Lic.Francisco Seoane

Universidad Nacional de Trujillo


Selected Publications


Edward Swenson (2008) San Ildefonso and the Popularization of Moche Ideology in the Jequetepeque Valley. In Arqueología Mochica: Nuevos Enfoques, edited by Luis Jaime Castillo, Hélène Bernier, Gregory Lockard, and Julio Rucabado, pp. 411-432. Fondo Editorial Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima.


Edward Swenson (2007) Adaptive strategies of ideological innovations? Interpreting sociopolitical developments in the Jequeteqeque Valley of Peru during the Late Moche Period. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 26(2) 253-282.

The Archaeology Centre, 19 Russell St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S2.    email: