Road Networks of Southern Peru: Connecting Landscapes of Colonialism

Author(s): David Reid

Year: 2016


Increasingly relevant to studies of geopolitical state expansion is the role of infrastructure: the networks of communication, travel, and commerce that embed local human landscapes within broader processes of imperialism. In pre-industrial communities, formal roads and highways were often the only localized presence of an overarching state, promising greater interconnectivity and shaping the colonial experience. I utilize geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing applications to model diachronic changes in road/path networks between the Ocoña and Majes Valleys in southern Peru. Ground truthing of roads and waystations suggest a deep prehistory of camelid caravan activity later coopted by the intrusive Wari and Inca highland states. While human settlement on the arid coast is considered to be relegated to the lush river valleys that descend from the highlands, this research suggests major lateral travel occurred across the desert pampa and was supported by associated waystations.

Cite this Record

Road Networks of Southern Peru: Connecting Landscapes of Colonialism. David Reid. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403920)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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