Refuge, Frontier, No Man's Land: The Changing Nature of the Andean Cloud Forests

Author(s): Darryl Wilkinson

Year: 2017


This paper will consider the Amaybamba Valley of southern Peru as an ecological and political frontier zone, from the late prehistoric era until the early colonial period. The Amaybamba region is a part of the cloud forest zone of the eastern Andean slopes, and is thus located where the highlands rapidly shift into the warm tropical lowlands of Amazonia. It is a region that has a complex and highly variable history, one reflecting its environmental characteristics, but often in unpredictable ways. Through a mixture of archaeological and documentary forms of evidence, the paper will discuss the occupation of the valley during the Late Intermediate Period (c. A.D. 1100-1400), on through to the Late Horizon (c. A.D. 1400-1532), followed by the post-conquest and Neo-Inca period (A.D. 1533-1572) and then finally the early colonial era (A.D. 1572-1650). As the paper will show, although there is always a strong relationship between the ecological and political frontier zones of the Amaybamba, the characteristics of this relationship were radically different across the centuries. No deterministic account of the region's ecological and political interactions can therefore provide an adequate explanation.

Cite this Record

Refuge, Frontier, No Man's Land: The Changing Nature of the Andean Cloud Forests. Darryl Wilkinson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431837)


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): 15008