Monumental Haciendas: The Spanish Colonial Transformation of Pre-Columbian Seats of Power in Northern Ecuador

Author(s): Ryan S. Hechler; William S. Pratt

Year: 2018

Summary

Early Spanish colonial accounts of northern highland Ecuador were exceptionally verbose about Inka imperial frontier architectural feats, however these same writings are silent on regional ethnic groups’ pre-Inka monumental earthen platform mound creations, known as tolas. This is in exceptional contrast to the detail provided in then-contemporary Spanish accounts of similar earthen structures in the U.S. Southeastern Woodlands. Tolas could tower over the regional landscape up to 20 m tall and be up to 100 m wide. The Spanish bias in selectively acknowledging regional Pre-Columbian architectural achievements was reflected in their preference in developing haciendas. Inka structures and spaces were frequently converted into the principal houses of haciendas. Alternatively, no tola was ever used for an hacienda structure, though many tolas formerly had perishable indigenous structures on their summits. Instead, tolas were frequently used for farming plots. This paper is an examination of Spanish re-imaginings of these Pre-Columbian spaces.

Cite this Record

Monumental Haciendas: The Spanish Colonial Transformation of Pre-Columbian Seats of Power in Northern Ecuador. Ryan S. Hechler, William S. Pratt. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441518)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 988