Archaeological Microhistory at a Planned Colonial Town in Highland Peru

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

A generation after the Spanish invasion of the Inka Empire, the indigenous communities of the Viceroyalty of Peru were subjected to one of the largest mass resettlement programs by a colonial power: the Reducción General de Indios (General Resettlement of Indians). Over a million native people were resettled to reducción towns to facilitate religious indoctrination and tribute collection, and more broadly, to colonize the deepest recesses of everyday practice to produce newly "civilized" communities. How such colonialist global schemes actually manifested in disparate contexts in the Andean landscape, however, is only beginning to be explored archaeologically. This session presents the largest scale excavations in a highland reducción to date. Situated in the exceptionally well-preserved reducción of Santa Cruz de Tuti (AKA Espinar de Tuti) in the Colca Valley, the Proyecto Arqueológico Tuti Antiguo (PATA) excavated in varied domestic and ritual spaces in 2016, including elite indigenous domestic compounds, the sacristy and rectory of the main parish, and a chapel. Our results compare the contexts of domestic and liturgical practices of indigenous households and the clergy, and trace out threads of continuity and change through the colonial and early republican eras.

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  • Documents (12)

  • Continuidad y cambio: un estudio comparativo e interpretativo de los espacios domésticos de Mawchu Llacta (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Manuel Mamani. Jesus Mamani.

    Una de las más grandes reformas llevadas a cabo durante el Virreinato en el Perú fue la Reducción General de Indios, que consistió en el traslado y reubicación de las poblaciones indígenas. Este proceso de cambios no solo se enfocó en la generación de una nueva forma de asentamientos humanos, sino que también afectaron con toda una estructura social, que a su vez repercutió en el modo de vida y bagaje cultural materializado en la distribución, uso y representación de espacios, es este el caso de...

  • Elite domestic spaces and daily life in a reduccion (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen Berquist. Erick Casanova. Abigail Gamble. Samantha Seyler. Steven Wernke.

    The archaeology of Spanish colonialism in the Andean region is coming into increasing focus with the documentation of Spanish colonial doctrinas and reducciónes, along with the excavation of religious structures, public spaces, and elite and common indigenous households. However, we still lack a clear comparative diachronic perspective of how Spanish colonialism affected the daily lives and values of indigenous Andean peoples. This paper presents the results of the 2016 excavations of three...

  • Houses of Colonial Chiefly Authority: Local Elites in the Social Order of Mawchu Llacta, a Colonial Reducción Town in the Southern Highlands of Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erick Casanova Vasquez. Abigail Gamble. Beau Murphy. Karissa Dieter. Steven A. Wernke.

    As a result of the Toledan Reforms in the Viceroyalty of Peru during the late fifteenth century, new settlements known as reducciones were established to centralize indigenous populations. Such is the case of Mawchu Llacta, originally Espinar de Tute, in the Caylloma Province, Arequipa. The introduction of these sweeping reforms brought a series of major changes to the social order. External agents were established as the new bearers of power and local elites took on a secondary status. However,...

  • Irreducible Reducción: Archaeological Microhistory at Mawchu Llacta, a Planned Colonial Town in Highland Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Steven A. Wernke.

    The Reducción General de Indios (General Resettlement of Indians) in the Viceroyalty of Peru brought about one of the largest mass resettlement programs ever enacted by a colonial power, forcibly displacing some 1.5 million native Andeans to compact towns (reducciones) built around plazas and churches. As a colonial utopic project, the Reducción was to remake the Andean world in the ideal self-image of Spanish civic and religious community. As materialized manifestations in the Andean...

  • Liturgical textiles from the Spanish colonial reducción of Santa Cruz de Tuti, Colca Valley, Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Samantha Seyler.

    A highly visible symbol within the church, liturgical cloth plays an important role in the communication of ideas about the wealth and authority of the Catholic Church. During the colonial period in the Andes, the influence of liturgical textiles extended to reinforcing ideas about the power of the Spanish Empire as well as the role of indigenous populations within it. Although cloth production during the period of Spanish colonization is a subject discussed to some extent by art historians...

  • Mortuary analysis of juvenile burials in the sacristy of a Spanish colonial reducción in the southern highlands of Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Karissa Deiter. Sara L. Juengst. Manuel Angel Mamani. Antonio Villaseñor-Marchal.

    Mortuary practices at Spanish colonial sites in Latin America varied in terms of burial location, style of burial, and associated grave goods. Understanding burial practices is one way to investigate shifting identities, conversion to Catholicism, and the degree of control over and involvement of priests in daily life at colonial sites. The mortuary practices at the reducción (planned colonial town) of Santa Cruz de Tuti (today known as Mawchu Llacta, Colca Valley, Peru) reveal nuanced insights...

  • Photogrammetry All the Way Down: Multiscalar and Multiplatform Photogrammetry as Primary Spatial Registry in a Large Excavation Project (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jordan Downey. Oliver R. Hegge. Kari Lentz. Steven A. Wernke.

    In 2016, a large excavation project was carried out at the site of Mawchu Llacta in the Colca Valley of southern Peru. A colonial reduccíon (planned town), Mawchu Llacta is a large site with plazas, chapels, a parish, and domestic compounds. These spaces all consist of complex standing architecture in varying degrees of preservation. Eleven excavation blocks were opened to better understand ritual and everyday life in the town. The extent and distribution of the excavations, however, presented...

  • A rectory divided: mediation of space in a colonial town in the southern Peruvian highlands (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Bethany Whitlock. Kari Lentz.

    During the 16th century Viceroy Toledo ordered a series of reforms in the Viceroyalty of Peru that involved the forced resettlement of the native population into planned nucleated settlements (reducciones). Toledo believed that these standardized built environments, in conjunction with ecclesiastical regulation, would produce idealized colonial communities. This paper presents the initial results of recent excavations in the rectory at Mawchu Llacta, a reducción in the Colca Valley. The rectory...

  • Remodeling the Liturgical "Backstage" of the Parish of Santa Cruz de Tuti, Colca Valley (Arequipa, Peru) (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Abel Traslavina Arias. Steven A. Wernke.

    The Toledan resettlement during late decades of the 16th century in the viceroyalty of Peru involved a series of changes in the territory for Andean people at different levels, from household to the public and religious spheres. In the case of the reducción (planned colonial town) of Santa Cruz de Tute, the religious sphere was transformed and materialized into a new core of buildings and spaces: the church, its parish, and plazas. The parish and casa cural (rectory) was a liminal space in terms...

  • Space is the place: integrating context through GIS and geophysical surveys at Santa Cruz de Tuti, Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Oliver Hegge. Stephen Yerka.

    The reducción of Santa Cruz de Tuti (AKA Espinar de Tuti) in the Colca Valley is a complex archaeological site in the high Andes with occupational phases representing the Inka, colonial, and republican periods. Multiple geophysical instrument surveys conducted during planning phases, as well as concurrently with a large-scale excavation program in 2016, provided critical information on site use and depositional environment. Spatial, pattern and visual analyses reveal how domestic, public, and...

  • Stress and daily life in an Andean reducción town: preliminary osteological analyses of juvenile burials in a church sacristy (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sara Juengst. Manuel Angel Mamani. Karissa Deiter.

    Juvenile mortality and morbidity is a sensitive marker of overall group health, as juvenile individuals are more susceptible to circulating endemic diseases and nutritional stress. Thus, reconstructing relative frailty of the juvenile population at Mawchu Llacta provides important data about daily life at this colonial site, in a relatively understudied transitional period of Peruvian history. In this paper, we present the results of preliminary skeletal analyses of burials excavated from the...

  • Uso de un Espacio Sagrado: Excavaciones de la Sacristía de una Reducción Colonial en la Sierra sur del Perú (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Arlen Mildred Talaverano Sanchez. William Mc Collum. Steven A. Wernke.

    Los espacios rituales han sido desde siempre lugares importantes dentro de las comunidades humanas pues son la expresión material de sus creencias y su fe. En el caso del Virreinato del Perú, la invasión española del siglo XVI significó un cambio radical en la concepción y materialización de la religiosidad practicada, donde la construcción de edificios de carácter religioso encarnó el cambio de vida y costumbres de los pueblos conquistados. Esta ponencia explora el espacio arquitectónico de la...