The Casma state, which flourished on the rth coast of Peru in the centuries before European contact, is an important and vastly understudied ancient culture. Its capital city, El Purgatorio, was inhabited from ca. 700-1400 AD. The rise and fall of El Purgatorio spans a period of dynamic transition in Andean history but has rarely been mentioned in previous research. Melissa Vogel investigates this extensive, monumental urban site in The Casma City ofEl Purgatorio. Using the city's architecture and spatial organization, its rituals, religion, and mortuary practices, its political ecomy, and other material evidence, she describes the people who lived there. A culmination of Vogel's sixteen-year study of the Casma culture, this book demonstrates how ancient cities help us understand the development and collapse of complex societies.
Melissa Vogel, associate professor of anthropology at Clemson University, is the author of Frontier Life in Ancient Peru: The Archaeology of Cerro la Cruz.