Empire in Ruins: Inca Urban Planning and the Colonial Occupation at Huánuco Pampa

Author(s): R. Alan Covey; Miriam Aráoz Silva

Year: 2017


Located in the Andean highlands of northern Peru, the Inca administrative center at Huánuco Pampa served as a provincial capital, drawing thousands of tributary households into scripted encounters with imperial officials on festive occasions. Inca site planning created spaces for performing diverse identities and reinforcing relationships between local people and Inca elites. After an unsuccessful Spanish attempt to establish a town within the central plaza of the site, Huánuco Pampa faded to a peripheral status, serving as a remote way-station on a Colonial highland route. The disembedded location of Huánuco Pampa contributed to the Spanish failure to maintain a central element of Inca provincial administration. Nevertheless, more attention needs to be given to how the long-term trajectory of the Colonial Period occupation was influenced by its dependence on, and departure from, principles of Inca urban planning. This paper will present the results of new architectural research from the eastern part of the site (Zone II), discussing how the distribution of Inca construction aesthetics and open spaces relates to the Colonial contexts that Craig Morris excavated in that part of the site during the 1960s and 1970s.

Cite this Record

Empire in Ruins: Inca Urban Planning and the Colonial Occupation at Huánuco Pampa. R. Alan Covey, Miriam Aráoz Silva. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431078)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15308