The Andean road a long trajectory of a social institution.

Author(s): Giancarlo Marcone

Year: 2016


Infrastructures like the Qhapaq Ñan or Inka roads can be viewed as social institutions that are the result of a complex network of social interactions between populations and their environments and fulfill several local social needs. This vision opposite the ones that understand that centralized government is necessary for local level communities to maintain certain infrastructure, like irrigation canals and roads.

The Inka road system is an intricate network of Tambos, administrative centers and roads long thought of as the network that allowed efficient administration of the Inca Empire. The traditional modes hold that the nodes of the network collapsed during the conquest, when administrative centers lost their centralized management.

Looking ar the roads as networks in a long time trajectory suggests the links (roads) of the network came to hold more importance than the nodes, since the roads have local meanings in the interaction of men and their space. In this way, the roads helped to institutionalize this relation and play a key role in shaping historical events after the Spanish conquest until the present day.

Cite this Record

The Andean road a long trajectory of a social institution.. Giancarlo Marcone. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403265)


Spatial Coverage

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