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The Archaeology of Rebellion and Resistance: Archaeological Investigations of the Neo-Inca State of Vilcabamba, Peru

Author(s): Emily Dean ; Amelia Perez Trujillo

Year: 2015

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In 1536 Manco Inca, the ‘puppet’ ruler installed by Pizarro, threw off the shackles of colonial rule and led a rebellion against the Spanish. After failing to retake the former imperial capital of Cusco, Manco Inca and his followers established a Neo-Inca state in Vilcabamba, the remote region east of Cusco. Vilcabamba functioned as the seat of Inca resistance against the Spanish from A.D. 1536 to 1572. While the historic record from the 1600s and 1700s is rich, few records exist for the period of ‘first contact.’ Those accounts that do exist are mostly slanted towards the Spanish point of view. The daily lives of the Inca who defiantly rejected Spanish rule during this time of intense culture contact remain obscure. This paper draws upon original survey and excavation data from Vitcos and the surrounding Vilcabamba region collected from 2008-2011to investigate the lives of the Inca during this time of upheaval. More specifically, we address the degree to which these ‘rebel’ Incas adopted and/or rejected Spanish material culture in their architecture, ceramic technology, religious life, and food-ways. We hope that our analyses will illuminate the material forms of resistance taken by the inhabitants of this 16th c. Neo-Inca state.

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The Archaeology of Rebellion and Resistance: Archaeological Investigations of the Neo-Inca State of Vilcabamba, Peru. Emily Dean, Amelia Perez Trujillo. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397738)


Geographic Keywords
South America

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