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The role of highland-lowland interaction in political development: a view from the hilltop fort site Ayawiri, in the Andean highlands of Peru.

Author(s): Aimee Plourde ; Elizabeth Arkush

Year: 2015

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Summary

The florescence of the pre-Columbian Andean cultural sphere presents a classic, almost trite counter example to the development of highland-lowland relations seen in other areas. Far from marginal, the highlands are where the Inca empire emerged, following the earlier Wari and Tiwanaku states. However, highland-lowland relations were complex and varied; urban societies also developed independently on the Pacific coast, while eastern Amazonian lowlands were often cast as marginal and ‘difficult’. Investigation of the pre-Inka site Ayawiri in the South-Central Andean highlands provides some insight into the changing nature of highland-lowland interraction. Ayawiri was a regional center in the northern Lake Titicaca Basin during the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1450), a period characterized by conflict and a fragmented, fluid political landscape. Somewhat counter-intuitively, interregional contacts were maintained and continued to play a vital role in political and economic organization. Analyses of excavated assemblages (lithic, metal and faunal) suggest that residents’ participation in interregional trade critically contributed to its rise as a regional center. At the same time, they appear to have rejected previously wide-spread ideologies of status and power seen in the Tiwanaku and Upper Formative periods, suggesting that the nature of interregional interaction and trade may have changed substantially.

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The role of highland-lowland interaction in political development: a view from the hilltop fort site Ayawiri, in the Andean highlands of Peru.. Aimee Plourde, Elizabeth Arkush. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396472)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America