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Intermediate Rooms in the Complex

As previously discussed, this area was made up of four small quadrangular rooms behind the Western Plaza. Each room was similar in size and interconnected with each other by inner entrances. Although none opened to the Western Plaza, lateral entrances provided them with independent access to the outer space. In order to understand their function, we excavated a test unit in Room-9. Unfortunately, we only learned later that this structure had already been excavated by Martti Parssinen and Ari Siiriainen during their visit to the site in 1993. In the field, this was evidenced by the dig marks and lack of stratigraphy. To our good fortune, the previous excavation had only reached 40 cm deep, leaving untouched the lower portion of the archaeological record. Thus, for the last occupation

Room-9 eastern stratigraphic profile in the Cuzcotuyo complex

Figure 7.8. Room-9 eastern stratigraphic profile in the Cuzcotuyo complex.

we relied on Parssinen and Siiriainens excavation research data. They reported that only a few sherds were collected in this layer, including two undecorated Inka jar fragments. In light of the presence of red slip (and the absence of Inka pottery in the entire complex), I suspect that these two undecorated Inka fragments actually belonged to the Manchachi Slate on Red style. They also recovered two Guarani fragments with fingernail impressions (Parapeti Ungulate variant) and two pieces with no clear affiliation (Parssinen and Siiriainen 1998:155). In the transitional level below, a handful of utilitarian fragments were recuperated (n=10). Overall, the density of the last occupation in the room was low.

After this occupational level, Parssinen and Siiriainen (1998:153) stopped their excavations, believing that they had reached the “compact natural floor surface of the structure" However, thanks to a broader comparison of the inner stratigraphy with the external areas, we recognized that the yellow clay layer was not the natural matrix but, instead, a cultural deposition used to renovate the building floor. This yellow clay layer was absent outside the complex. Furthermore, in light of the absence of domestic debris in this room, it is likely that it was kept deliberately clean or served a special purpose (Figure 7.8).

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