Space is the place: integrating context through GIS and geophysical surveys at Santa Cruz de Tuti, Peru

Author(s): Oliver Hegge; Stephen Yerka

Year: 2017


The reducción of Santa Cruz de Tuti (AKA Espinar de Tuti) in the Colca Valley is a complex archaeological site in the high Andes with occupational phases representing the Inka, colonial, and republican periods. Multiple geophysical instrument surveys conducted during planning phases, as well as concurrently with a large-scale excavation program in 2016, provided critical information on site use and depositional environment. Spatial, pattern and visual analyses reveal how domestic, public, and ceremonial spaces each suggest differing patterns of site use diachronically and synchronically. Subsurface anomalies of similar character in domestic spaces reveals a cultural pattern that is consistent with ethnographic data and suggests that pre-Spanish traditions were carried on long after Spanish occupation, while public spaces show multiple episodes of landscape modification and re-modification. Both GPR and gradiometer survey were successful for non-invasively locating subsurface cultural features, and test excavations during the 2016 season provided important clues for assessing geophysical survey results across the site. Volcanic sediments and massive fill episodes, however, create a heterogenous subsurface particularly in the public and ceremonial spaces that impedes anomaly characterization. Integrating geophysical results with the spatial database and ethnographic data contextualizes the geophysical surveys, and provides additional data for spatial analysis.

Cite this Record

Space is the place: integrating context through GIS and geophysical surveys at Santa Cruz de Tuti, Peru. Oliver Hegge, Stephen Yerka. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432077)


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): 17562