Prior to Pachacuti: A Pre-Imperial Phase for Monumental Construction in Cuzco?

Author(s): Bill Sillar; Alexei Vranich; Dennis Ogburn

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "How Did the Inca Construct Cuzco?" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The plan of Inca Cuzco is sometimes explained as following a unified design, which some historical accounts attribute to the 9th Inca leader, Pachacuti. While Cuzco was a planned settlement, it was constantly being reconstructed and altered to accommodate a growing Inca elite, to facilitate the needs of the emerging state and the priorities of successive rulers, to better express Inca values, and to facilitate their rituals. It is difficult to identify phasing within Inca architecture, but our mapping of variations in the style, location of walls, and choice of building stone within central Cuzco suggests a sequence for early Inca constructions prior to the re-building of Coricancha associated with Pachacuti. This includes constructions using green diorite such as at Hatun Rumiyoq, and the use of small andesite blocks from varied sources as in Cusicancha and Amarucancha. These buildings demonstrate Inca access to a growing labor force and more distant raw materials, which was made possible by the expanding reach of Inca alliances and control during this phase of state development. The construction and form of these early buildings also has implications for understanding their functions and the role of monumental architecture within the nascent Imperial capital.

Cite this Record

Prior to Pachacuti: A Pre-Imperial Phase for Monumental Construction in Cuzco?. Bill Sillar, Alexei Vranich, Dennis Ogburn. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451987)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23532