The 'Chavín Controversy’ offers the interested reader an up-to-date overview of the ROCK ART imagery that - in the past - has often been ascribed to the dominating Chavín Culture of the Andes of South America.
The book begins with an extensive introduction (Chapter 1). Then follows an ‘inventory’ of more than a hundred ‘Chavín-style’ rock art images (Chapter 2), while Chapter 3 offers a comprehensive analysis of the ‘Chavín Controversy’, in which I challenge the Chavín supremacy in the Andean world. I also challenge the idea that - generally speaking - ‘Chavín-style’ rock art images are of Chavín manufacture. I propose that they are much older. In order to demonstrate my points not only many rock art panels, but also architectural art (especially Sechín), textiles from the Ica Region and ceramic art support my hypotheses. For instance, I propose that one specific piece of pottery establishes a link between Chavín de Huántar and Cerro Sechín.
The book explores rock art sites from the very north of Peru to the Atacama Desert in Chile and several sites and/or rock art panels have not been published previously. Important sites like Cerro Mulato, Alto de la Guitarra, Palamenco and Tolón are described in detail. But also rather ‘unknown’ sites like Tomabal, Río Salinas, Río Seco de Santa Ana, Santa Rita and Bogotalla are most important when discussing the ‘Chavín Controversy’. Especially the rock art site of Chillihuay is crucial when discussing the ‘Chavín Controversy’. Chillihuay is notably located many hundreds of kilometres south of Chavín de Huántar and yet features several interesting rock art images. Moreover, very specific rock art images - mainly from Jequetepeque but also from Chillihuay - demonstrate that an enigmatic process of ‘disintegration’ has taken place in ‘Chavín-style’ iconography.
The book has been lavishly illustrated with more than 150 black-and-white drawings of petroglyphs and rock paintings from more than 40 rock art sites in Peru and Chile. Each entry of a rock art site and/or rock art panel has its own explanatory text. Altogether there are 174 numbered illustrations (including 23 colour plates and a few distribution maps), plus two Time Charts. At the end the book has a List of Figures section offering the captions and sources and an extensive Bibliography.