Regional Interfaces between Inca and Local Communities in the Colesuyo Region of Southern Peru
Chacaltana Cortez, Sofia
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How do local economies and people respond to imperial expansion? How do empires affect small‐scale economies at the local and regional level? For a long time, inter‐regional exchange and social articulation in the Andes have been explained by using the “vertical control of ecological floors” model proposed by John Murra more than 30 years ago. Nonetheless, bottom‐up perspectives on understanding this model across time and under diverse social political influences have not been addressed. My dissertation focuses on the Colesuyo Region of southern Peru to observe the economic transformations that occurred at two sites located in different eco‐zones and with diverse socio‐political organizations during the Late Intermediate Period [LIP] (A.D. 1100‐1400) and the Inca Period (circa A.D. 1400 – 1532). In order to better understand the transformations that occurred within the Colesuyo region, I compared archaeological data collected at two sites: Tacahuay Tambo/Tacahuay Pueblo (a coastal community with a mixed economy that included maritime resources, agriculture and herding) and Camata Tambo/Camata Pueblo (representing a highland community with an agricultural and pastoral focus). To address these issues, I combined historical information, macro and micro botanical data, faunal data, and chemical characterization readings of ceramics and regional identification of clay sources to investigate the regional and inter‐regional economic changes that occurred from the Late Intermediate Period to the Late Horizon. An analysis of the data suggests that while Colesuyo has been categorized as a marginal region, both before and during the Inca Period, the sites of Camata and Tacahuay reflect different mechanisms of interactions and levels of political and economic relations. These differences reveal a complex socio‐economic landscape that was transformed during the Inca influence in the region.