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Irreducible Reducción: Archaeological Microhistory at Mawchu Llacta, a Planned Colonial Town in Highland Peru

Author(s): Steven A. Wernke

Year: 2017

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The Reducción General de Indios (General Resettlement of Indians) in the Viceroyalty of Peru brought about one of the largest mass resettlement programs ever enacted by a colonial power, forcibly displacing some 1.5 million native Andeans to compact towns (reducciones) built around plazas and churches. As a colonial utopic project, the Reducción was to remake the Andean world in the ideal self-image of Spanish civic and religious community. As materialized manifestations in the Andean countryside, reducción towns were deeply compromised and ambivalent in their significance and effects: they attempted to reduce the irreducible complexities of community. This paper presents an overview of findings from extensive excavations in domestic and ritual contexts at a large, unusually well-preserved and textually-documented reducción, Santa Cruz de Tuti (known today as Mawchu Llacta). With an occupation spanning Inka through early republican times, Mawchu Llacta promises to shed light on continuity and change in the domestic and ritual practice over more than three centuries of successive imperial rule. Through an archaeological microhistory approach, interdisciplinary research at Mawchu Llacta explores the tangible and mutual transformation of global and local practice through colonialism and the emergence of modernity.

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Irreducible Reducción: Archaeological Microhistory at Mawchu Llacta, a Planned Colonial Town in Highland Peru. Steven A. Wernke. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432078)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15894

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America