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The site of Chavin de Huantar in the Peruvian Andes was first inhabited around 1500 BC, during what is termed the Initial Period. However, the site 's most illustrious era was from 800 - 300 BC when much of the central Andes seems to have been influenced by its cultural and religious forms.
Contents and timing. 00.42 Introduction by Antonio Zapata. 1.42 Views of the site and interview. 2.19 Lumbreras: domination of Chavin civilisation over natural conditions. 3.58 Narrator: the arrival of ceramics in the north of Peru 1800 BC. (Ref. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64DcFxj9gbQ)
(Fragment from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav%C3%ADn_culture below)Section: Art. A general study of the coastal Chavín pottery with respect to shape reveals two kinds of vessels: a polyhedrous carved type and a globular painted type. Stylistically, Chavín art forms make extensive use of the technique of contour rivalry. The art is intentionally difficult to interpret and understand, since it was intended only to be read by high priests of the Chavín cult who could understand the intricately complex and sacred designs. The Raimondi Stela is one of the major examples of this technique.
Chavin art decorates the walls of the temple and includes carvings, sculptures and pottery. Artists depicted foreign things such as jaguars and eagles rather than local plants and animals. The feline figure is one of the most important motifs seen in Chavin art. It has an important religious meaning and is repeated on many carvings and sculptures. Eagles are also commonly seen throughout Chavin art. There are three important artifacts which are the major examples of Chavin art. These artifacts are the Tello Obelisk, tenon heads, and the Lanzon. Tello Obelisk is a giant sculpted shaft which features images of plants and animals. It includes caymans, birds, crops, and human figures. The illustration on this large artifact may possibly portray a creation story. Tenon heads are found throughout Chavin de Huantar and are one of the most popular images associated with the Chavin civilization. Tenon heads are massive stone carvings of fanged jaguar heads which stick out from the tops of the interior walls. Possibly the most impressive artifact from Chavin de Huantar is the Lanzon. The Lanzon is a 4.53 meter long granite shaft displayed in the temple. The shaft goes extends through an entire floor of the structure and the ceiling. It is carved with an image of a fanged deity and it is the main cult image of the Chavin people.
420px|leftThe Chavín culture represents the first widespread, recognizable artistic style in the Andes. Chavín art can be divided into two phases: The first phase corresponding to the construction of the "Old Temple" at Chavín de Huántar (c. 900–500 BC); and the second phase corresponding to the construction of Chavín de Huantar's "New Temple" (c. 500–200 BC).
UC Berkeley scanning project for Chavin de HuantarEdit
This video showcases the scope of the UC Berkeley scanning project for Chavin de Huantar, Peru. For more information on the project, please visit the CyArk website:  . The site of Chavin de Huantar in the Peruvian Andes was first inhabited around 1500 BC, during what is termed the Initial Period. However, the site's most illustrious era was from 800 - 300 BC, during the "Early Horizon" (750 - 250 BC), when its prestige reached a climax so great that the entire period of its "reign" is now attributed as the Chavin Horizon.