Classic Yampara Period (A.D. 800-1300)
In the second period, the settlement distribution was far from random. It exhibited a clear spatial aggregation into different concentrations. Two clusters were delineated for the Valley, and an additional two for the Plateau (Figure 4.13). From those, the two groups on the Plateau were tightly distributed. Access to water might have played an important role. Each congregation ran along important streams in the Plateau, where water is often in short supply (Figure 4.16). We also noted in this period a minimum distance of 200 m between settlements in this zone (Figure 4.17). This distance might reflect a standard area that each settlement used for immediate farming, whether this took the form of adjacent fields or agrarian terraces. This distance might also reflect a desirable distance predicated on social interaction among settlements.
By comparison, the Valley floor clusters were formed by fewer but more dispersed sites. The distribution of these settlements followed the course of the Pilcomayo and Inka Pampa Rivers, an indication of the importance of the alluvium for agrarian ends. Three of the largest villages (Sites 273, 238, and 281) were located in the southern Valley cluster, whereas five villages were in the northern congregation. I suggest that this distribution, expressed in few larger villages, reflects an effort to increase the amount of land available for agriculture.
Concerning distance, settlements in the valley zone retained the same earlier spacing of 0.5 km to 2.5 km from one another. This indicates different social and economic factors operating in each zone. While in the Plateau there were more, but tightly clustered smaller sites, the settlements in the Valley were larger, and there was a greater distance between them. It is possible that in the Pucara, we see the rise of homesteads occupied
Figure 4.16. Distribution of all sites in relation to permanent and intermittent water source access (Oroncota region).
Figure 4.17. Minimum distance of 200 m between sites in the Classic Yampara period.
by individual families, living in broader settlement congregations. By comparison, in the Valley zone the intensive use of agricultural land promoted population nucleation in few but larger villages, perhaps as an effort to maximize the use of arable land or to more effectively pool labor for agriculture. It is also feasible that the Valley residents congregated into bigger settlements to facilitate protection, particularly in the absence of the natural protection of the Plateau. At any rate, these results signal the existence of different socioeconomic arrangements and land-use patterns governing each zone, and perhaps even the presence of distinct political entities.