Rethinking the Inka: the View from the South

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

Historically, the majority of archaeological research on Inka provincial rule has been done in the Collasuyu, the quarter of the empire that falls within what is today far southern Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. More recently (since 2010, based on Thomson-Reuters Web of Knowledge), there are twice the number of articles on Collasuyu than on the rest of the empire combined. Yet within the English-language literature on the Inka, this vast body of research (published primarily by Latin American archaeologists in Spanish) is infrequently acknowledged or cited. The findings of recent and long-term projects on the Inka in Collasuyu require us to rethink Inka provincial expansion and administration and the dynamics of Inka-local relations. Papers in this session highlight research on landscape and memory, political economy, ideology and materiality, and identity and authority, and as such contribute not only to Andean studies but to a general understanding of ancient empires.

Other Keywords
IncaPolitical economyChronologyReligionInteractionLandscapeMemoryLowlandsInkaArgentina

Geographic Keywords
South America

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Copper Rich, Water Poor: The Southern Atacama under Inka Rule (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Diego Salazar. Andres Troncoso. Frances Hayashida. Cesar Parcero-Oubiña.

    The hyperarid and thinly populated Atacama area of northern Chile seems an unlikely target of imperial interest. However, archaeological research has demonstrated direct control over this territory and its people by the Inka, who were drawn to the region by rich copper deposits that have been exploited at least since the Late Archaic (4500 BP). How did the Inka reorganize copper mining technology and labor? How were mining and metallurgical centers provisioned in this agriculturally marginal...

  • Dynamics of Interaction and Integration between the Tawantinsuyu and the Local Populations of the Kollasuyu: Contributions from the Mediterranean Valleys of Central Chile (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Daniel Pavlovic. Rodrigo Sánchez. Daniel Pascual. Andrea Martínez.

    This paper aims to contribute to a critical analysis of the dynamics of interaction and integration between the Incas and the local populations in the Kollasuyu based on the results of research projects carried out during the last decades in the valleys of Aconcagua, Maipo, and Mapocho in the Mediterranean area of the western slope of the Andes. The collected records point to complex processes of acceptance, rejection and differential integration of local populations with respect to the...

  • The Illusion of Total Control in the Provinces of the Inca Empire (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Francisco Garrido.

    Despite the interest of the Inca empire in promoting their ideology and establishing a strong political economy in their provinces, the actual result of that process was full set of “trade-offs” that involved the empowerment of local elites, and the independent development of parallel economies of sumptuary goods and household provisioning. This proposition challenges current and dominant “top-down” approaches to the Inca empire, where all economic and political transformations are seen as a...

  • Impact, Expansion and Heterogeneous Strategies of the Tawantinsuyu at its Borders: The Case of Santiago del Estero in the Eastern Lowlands of Argentina (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carlos Angiorama. Constanza Taboada.

    In this presentation we discuss the particular situation of a set of archaeological sites located in a small area of Santiago del Estero’s lowland (central Argentina), outside the territory traditionally included in the Collasuyu. The area concentrates several sites where Inca and Andean artefacts were found at the beginning of the 20th century, along with Inca features incorporated to the archaeological pottery and to ethnographic textiles. Moreover, there are certain kind of archaeological...

  • Inca Landscapes in Midwest Catamarca (Argentina) (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Julieta Lynch. Marco Antonio Giovannetti.

    This paper will introduce the problem of Inca settlements and their relation with local populations in the midwestern sector of Catamarca, specifically in the Hualfín and Quimivil valleys. This area has an early agricultural-ceramics occupation as seen in several archaeological sites with local patterns. When the Inca arrived during the first half of the 15th century several previous elements of landscape were transformed and others were incorporated. However, the local population, with an...

  • Landscape, Social Memory, and Materiality at Calchaqui Valley during Inka Domination in Northwest Argentina (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Veronica Williams.

    Within its territory, the Inka adapted their rule of such diverse spheres as political economy, ideology, and identity, among others, which explains in part the diversity and disparity seen in the empire. In Collasuyu, Inka buildings were common but it is evident that their features, dimensions, monumentality and spatial density show contrasting regional differences. New evidence regarding Inka occupation in Northwest Argentina shows different situations of Inka conquest and domination expressed...

  • The Mineral Heart of Tawantinsuyo: Metal Production, Power and Religiosity in Qollasuyo (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Pablo Cruz. Christian Vitry.

    Expansion into the Andean highlands located to the south of Cuzco was a movement of capital importance in the consolidation of the Tawantinsuyu. This southward extension permitted the Incan annexation of important political and religious enclaves, like those located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. That region is identified by various colonial sources as the place of origin of the Incas themselves. However, beyond this, expansion of the empire to the south provided access to the gold, silver, and...

  • Márgenes y Centros del Tawantinsuyo en el Norte Grande de Chile (Andes Centro Sur) (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mauricio Uribe.

    A partir de los postulados de Murra sobre los Incas, Llagostera planteó para el Norte de Chile la ausencia de una conquista propiamente tal, puesto que sus poblaciones se hallaban insertas en sistemas preincaicos de complementariedad ecológica, cuyas cabeceras o “señoríos” se encontraban vinculadas al altiplano central del Titicaca. Las que una vez anexadas al Tawantinsuyo, implicó un dominio casi automático de las entidades restantes ubicadas en lugares más bajos como los del norte chileno,...

  • Re-thinking social and chronological palimpsest. Inka domination in Quebrada de Humahuaca (Jujuy, Argentina) (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maria Cremonte. Clarisa Otero. Catriel Greco.

    In recent years, the scenario of Inka conquest in the Quebrada de Humahuaca includes different social landscapes that can’t be explained by traditional positions. These new perspectives have been improved by contributions from other regions of Northwestern Argentina and Collasuyu. In the case of Quebrada de Humahuaca, a region with a lack in early historical sources, the archaeological visibility of processes of social dynamics and handcraft production requires constant methodological...

  • The Role of Chullpas in the Inca Conquest of the Southern Altiplano: A Symmetrical Approach (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Axel Nielsen.

    I start with the premise that chullpas (architectural modules formed by a chamber which can be accessed by a narrow opening) are wak’as, persons with higher ontological status than humans, capable of acting in different ways (housing the dead, storing crops, guarding territories, defending communities, marking status differences among people, etc.) and settings (pukaras, villages, caves, or fields), as full members of altiplano society. I propose that chullpas were important actors in the Inca...