Bethany Turner-Livermore and Barbara R. Hewitt
This chapter discusses research by the authors among Inca populations from two sites in Peru. Machu Picchu was a royal Inca estate, close to the imperial capital of Cuzco and inhabited by a permanent group of servants, while Túcume is a large site on the northern coast of Peru, in the hinterland of the empire, but with an elite burial context including a number of female attendants. Characterization of both light and heavy isotopes in the bones and teeth of individuals from both sites has permitted the authors to estimate the social status (mitmacona, yanacona, acllacona/mamacona) of the servants at both sites, and to better characterize their geographic origins and diet. When interpreted against an ethnohistorical and archaeological backdrop, isotopic bioarchaeology results discussed here indicate that the acllacona in particular represent a variety of possible manifestations in the archaeological record, reflecting the variety of roles they played in the empire.
This chapter presents an overview of pre-Inca states in the Andes, describing patterns of statecraft that came before the Inca Empire. The earliest evidence for Andean urbanism and statecraft appeared on the north coast of Peru, where Mochica polities built on earlier processes. A period of local development followed the disintegration of Mochica states, and the Chimú Empire spread across parts of the region in the centuries before Inca incorporation. In the Andean highlands, the Wari and Tiwanaku empires developed their own urban centers and extended administrative centers and enclaves into other highland areas. As archaeologists explore the pre-Inca Andean states more intensively, focusing more attention on peripheral and non-elite contexts, it is clear that these societies used distinct strategies to integrate their core regions and to extend their power more widely.
Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change
Jago Cooper and Lindsay Duncan
This chapter considers the role of archaeology in creating solutions for coping with the impacts of global environmental change, illustrated by cases from Latin America. Past examples of the practical application of pre-Columbian innovations and techniques are considered, and the key themes of social practice and community engagement discussed. These principles are then applied to the islands of the Caribbean where archaeology can play an important role in accessing and illuminating pre-Columbian lifeways in the region. The comparative resilience of past and present lifeways to the hazards created by extreme weather events, precipitation variability, and sea level changes are discussed, and the role of archaeology as a means of engaging the public, stimulating discussion, and informing debate is considered.
Guillermo Luis Mengoni Goñalons
South American Camelids (SAC) occupied a central role in the development of Andean societies and were an essential element of the cultural landscape. During the Inca period camelids had a major significance to people, integrating their economy, social, political, and ritual life. Camelids were a key instrument for the expansion and establishment of the Inca Empire. Llamas were used as beasts of burden for transporting goods along extensive redistribution networks that connected the highlands, valleys, and Pacific coast. From a utilitarian perspective camelids provided different products (e.g. meat, wool). This chapter illustrates the strategies used by the Incas for managing these ungulates by presenting some case studies from the Qollasuyu, the southeastern quarter of the Inca Empire.
While reports of child sacrifice in the ancient Andes are often sensationalized to captivate popular audiences, the study of the practice provides archaeologists with an important means of investigating power and sociopolitical dynamics in antiquity. This chapter discusses the significance of the terms ‘child’ and ‘sacrifice’ in the Andes and examines the evidence of child sacrifice from ancient contexts in Andean regions of modern-day Peru and Bolivia. It considers data on sacrificial practices from dives sources, such as descriptions in ethnohistorical documents, representations in architectural design and portable art, and direct evidence found in the archaeological record. Finally, various approaches to the study of these sacrifices and possible avenues for future analyses are outlined.
Based on available archaeological and ethnohistorical data, this chapter examines the nature of Inca presence in the norther portion of the empire. Located in present-day Ecuador, this region had a singular importance in the last phases of Inca imperial expansion. This contribution provides an overview of the Inca occupation and the different forms of integration that the populations dwelling in the sierra, coast, and tropical oriente experienced. The discussion also highlights the importance of the Inca centers of Tomebamba and Quito in the imperial politics, and the system of defensive fortifications along the imperial frontiers. It also discusses the complex relations that the Inca established with competing polities like the Caranqui and Cañari among many others. Altogether, this illustrates the complexity of the complexity of the Inca conquest in the Northern region, and the remaining work to be done in the future.
Melissa S. Murphy
A growing body of bioarchaeological research into the biocultural effects of Spanish colonialism on native Andean communities shows that traditional and popular narratives emphasizing the roles of epidemic disease and Spanish military superiority in the conquest of the Inca Empire are oversimplified. Bioarchaeologists are now interrogating the intricacies and etiologies of native mortality and depopulation, differential fertility, migration, and population recovery, as well as successful native adaptation. Their work demonstrates considerable variability and complexity in native responses to life under Spanish colonial rule, but these results are limited to the coastal valleys, and additional study is required from the other areas of the Inca Empire, especially the Yucay and the highland regions.
Alan Covey and Sonia Alconini
This chapter is an editorial conclusion to Part 3, responding to the central issues raised in chapters on the military, political, and economic power of the Inca state. The concluding chapter mentions some large-scale theoretical formulations for imperial rule, and then discusses the trajectory of Inca militarism as the empire expanded beyond the Cuzco region. Conquest led to varying manifestations of Inca economic power, and many aspects of the political economy were projected from the household of the ruling Inca and his wife. Kinship served as a key means for connecting Inca rulers with subject populations, but local people could evade the imperial state under some circumstances, especially in areas where food production practices were different from those most familiar to the maize-farming Incas.
Alan Covey and Sonia Alconini
This chapter is an editorial conclusion to Part 1, addressing the themes of Inca origins that emerged in chapters on colonial chronicles, Andean prehistory, and the material remains of the Inca transformation of the city of Cuzco and its surrounding region. The concluding chapter focuses on the interplay between documentary and archaeological reconstructions of Inca origins, which begin at different points in the past and offer distinct narrative scales. Although colonial histories provided the sole source of information on Inca origins for centuries, archaeology has introduced important new questions about the relationships between the Inca Empire and earlier Andean states.
Alan Covey and Sonia Alconini
This chapter is an editorial conclusion to Part 7, developing important concepts that appear in the chapters on different aspects of continuity and change in the early colonial Andes. As modern scholars developed their interpretations of the meaning and impact of Spanish colonization, they confronted different facets of the colonial documentary record that grew up around questions of Inca sovereignty and Spanish imperial legitimacy. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the conquest of the Inca took on many different meanings, and authors have presented key themes in distinct ways. Most sources discuss the transfer of sovereignty from the Inca to the Habsburgs, the use of Spanish military force in the conquest of the Andes, the European belief that indigenous peoples were of a weak disposition, and the role of Catholic missionary work in establishing colonial rule.