Chimú-Inka Ceramics: Quantifying differences between Colonial forms and their influences

Author(s): Jennifer Siegler

Year: 2015


Between 1428 and 1534 the Inka conquered the world’s largest territory controlled by a single state including 1300 km of coastline from the 1460 conquest of their main rivals, the Chimú. Studies on Inka provincial administrative policies are increasingly important in understanding the pre-conquest Andes, however, there has been no study of the effects of Inka subjugation on the art of their most powerful former enemy. Ceramics from the Chimú-Inka period offer a striking example of how characteristics from provincial and Inka artistic traditions were combined.

This presentation examines three Chimú-Inka vessel forms to assess the level of artistic control imposed by the Inka state: stirrup spout vessels, urpu, and portrait head vessels. The first two forms origins are clear, with stirrup spout vessels continuing an ancient, persistent North Coast vessel type, while urpus are an Inka invention. The final form is a hybrid product originating from the colonized north coast, containing elements of both Chimú and Inka artistic traditions. Proportional analyses comparing vessels of the original culture to the Chimú-Inka version indicate quantifiable distinctions in the two samples, suggesting that Inka administrators allowed a certain degree of flexibility while imposing the acceptance of their own tradition’s forms.

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Cite this Record

Chimú-Inka Ceramics: Quantifying differences between Colonial forms and their influences. Jennifer Siegler. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396342)


Ceramics Chimú Inka

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;