"Tiwanaku VI" revisited: Postcolonialism and Ethnogenesis in the middle Moquegua Valley Province

Author(s): Paul Goldstein

Year: 2015


The Middle Moquegua Valley was home to between 10,000 and 20,000 Tiwanaku colonists during the Tiwanaku IV and V periods. This paper examines what became of these populations in Tiwanaku’s postcolonial period. Three decades ago, the name "Tiwanaku VI" was briefly proposed to describe Moquegua’s diverse "post-expansive" ceramic styles. Subsequent full coverage survey in the and excavations in the middle valley indicate that after Tiwanaku V settlements, temple, and cemeteries were largely abandoned in the 11th century, they were replaced by only 42 hectares of new Tiwanaku-derived settlement. This supports the partial depopulation suggested by the appearance of refugee populations in other regions, yet also indicates that some 4000 colonists stayed in (or returned to) the Middle Valley. Tiwanaku-derived settlement concentrated in defensible mountaintop or walled locations at Los Espejos, Maria Cupine, Cerro Chamos, Omo M11 and Echenique. This pattern indicates balkanization, conflict, and political insecurity, while the replacement of Tiwanaku V ceramics with distinct local derived styles indicates the rejection of state ideology and the loss of economic contacts and communication across the Tiwanaku realm. Yet peoples of altiplano Tiwanaku origin also curated earlier imported materials and retained Tiwanaku household and mortuary practice, indicating substantial cultural continuity.

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Cite this Record

"Tiwanaku VI" revisited: Postcolonialism and Ethnogenesis in the middle Moquegua Valley Province. Paul Goldstein. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396875)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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