A rectory divided: mediation of space in a colonial town in the southern Peruvian highlands

Author(s): Bethany Whitlock; Kari Lentz

Year: 2017


During the 16th century Viceroy Toledo ordered a series of reforms in the Viceroyalty of Peru that involved the forced resettlement of the native population into planned nucleated settlements (reducciones). Toledo believed that these standardized built environments, in conjunction with ecclesiastical regulation, would produce idealized colonial communities. This paper presents the initial results of recent excavations in the rectory at Mawchu Llacta, a reducción in the Colca Valley. The rectory served as the dwelling for the parish's clergymen during its three centuries of occupation. The interior organization of the rectory was distinct from that of other domestic structures in the settlement, and underwent significant modification during its occupation. One room, for example, was divided into clear public/reception and private spaces. As such, we focus on temporal changes in the structure and organization of the rectory, including the reuse of Inka architectural elements. We also consider historical documents pertaining to the rectory, and examine the differences between these and the archaeological evidence. Ultimately, we explore how priests, agents of colonial authority, mediated power through control of space. We also intend to investigate how the lived experiences of indigenous Andeans and colonists, such as clerics, differed during the colonial period.

Cite this Record

A rectory divided: mediation of space in a colonial town in the southern Peruvian highlands. Bethany Whitlock, Kari Lentz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432082)


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): 16868