John Murra’s "A Study of Provincial Inca Life" Project; The Archaeological Survey

Author(s): Monica Barnes

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Legacies of Archaeologists in the Andes: Second Symposium, the Institutionalization and Internationalization of Andean Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper examines an aspect of John Victor Murra’s "A Study of Provincial Inca Life Project" (1963–1966), centered around the large Inca site of Huánuco Pampa. Archaeological survey was an important part of this multi-disciplinary endeavor. Probably for the first time, systematic reconnaissance was conducted in the Peruvian highlands. Methodology differed from that of the earlier, coastal Virú Valley survey which aimed to cover an entire drainage. In Huánuco, project archaeologists followed the route of a sixteenth century colonial inspector, Iñigo Ortiz de Zúñiga, attempting to locate settlements he mentioned. These were recorded, and sometimes test excavations were conducted. Ethnographers Emilio Mendizábal Losack and César Fonseca and botanist Robert McK. Bird collected data in those communities that were still occupied. This innovative fieldwork design allowed for diachronic comparisons. However, it did not permit full coverage or objective sampling. Although never published in its entirety, aspects of this survey were disseminated in scattered articles. Field notes and thousands of photographs are housed in the American Museum of Natural History.

Cite this Record

John Murra’s "A Study of Provincial Inca Life" Project; The Archaeological Survey. Monica Barnes. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451926)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23132