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Ritual Cycles and Organizational Plasticity in the Post-collapse Colla Society of Southern Peru (A.D. 1000-1450)

Author(s): Erika Brant

Year: 2016

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Summary

As Wengrow and Graeber (2015) recently pointed out, since the 1960s anthropologists have focused on organization types—bands, tribes, chiefdoms, states and the like—that remain relatively stable over long periods of time. By contrast, this paper considers evidence from the post-collapse Colla polity of southern Peru to understand how negative perceptions of centralized authority that culminated in the collapse of the Tiwanaku state (c. A.D. 1000) both demanded, and provided the impetus for, the emergence of new forms of political leadership that were designed to be assembled and disassembled according to the cyclical nature of ritual and political events. Architectural, faunal, and ceramic data drawn from the Colla necropolis of Sillustani and outlaying domestic sites suggest that such a self-conscious organizational strategy—deliberately alternating between periods of hierarchy and equality—prevented the persistence and reemergence of centralized political authority in the aftermath of Tiwanaku’s demise.


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Ritual Cycles and Organizational Plasticity in the Post-collapse Colla Society of Southern Peru (A.D. 1000-1450). Erika Brant. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405193)


Keywords

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