Not Becoming Inka: Anarchism as a Set of Human-thing Relationships

Author(s): Darryl Wilkinson

Year: 2018


Power depends on certain modes of relation between people and things; a fact archaeologists have recognized for some time. Thus there can be no states or rulers without monuments, elite regalia, official iconographies and the like—although traditionally it is only the human component that has been seen as the active element in this equation. More recently, archaeologists have sought to reconsider humans not as the users of things, but as their partners and co-participants in the social. In this paper I draw on such approaches to rethink anarchism as a particular mode of human-thing relations, rather than as an ideological stance or political philosophy. As a case study, I will examine a set of village communities of the Andean Late Intermediate Period (c.1000-1450) who resided on the heavily forested eastern piedmont to the northwest of Cuzco. Drawing on two seasons of excavation data, I will show how these settlements were founded by people who were attempting to flee the Inka Empire and all it represented. The rise of the Inka Empire entailed complex new forms of human-thing relations, and for the ancient anarchists presented in this paper, not becoming Inka was a process of actively rejecting those relationships.

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Not Becoming Inka: Anarchism as a Set of Human-thing Relationships. Darryl Wilkinson. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444186)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18755