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Foundations of Power in the Prehispanic Andes

ISBN: 978-1-931303-20-0
280 pages
April 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Foundations of Power in the Prehispanic Andes (1931303207) cover image


  • Investigates how the issue of power is approached by scholars of the South American Andes
  • Represent a wide range of regional, temporal, methodological, and theoretical perspectives on the prehispanic Andes from the Preceramic Period (representing the earliest sedentary societies) through the Late Horizon (the expansionary phase of the Inca Empire)
  • Brings together an array of approaches-both theoretical and methodological--as they are currently being employed by archaeologists in the Andes
  • Enriches the study of the emergence of complex societies, the origins of the state, and dynamics of sociopolitical organization in well-known societies like the Chav´ýn, Nasca, Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inca and in less-well-known groups, such as the pre- and post-Tiwanaku societies of the altiplano and the Late Intermediate Period groups of the south coast of Peru
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Table of Contents


The Foundations of Power in the Prehispanic Andes: An Introduction
Christina A. Conlee and Dennis Ogburn

Preludes to Power in the Highland Late Preceramic Period
Mark Aldenderfer

Power and the Emergence of Complex Polities in the Peruvian Preceramic
Jonathan Haas, Winifred Creamer, and Alvaro Ruiz

Power, Fairness, and Architecture: Modeling Early Chiefdom Development in the Central Andes
Charles Stanish and Kevin J. Haley

The Evolution of Authority and Power at Chavín de Huántar, Peru
John W. Rick

Trade and Social Power in the Southern Titicaca Basin Formative
Matthew S. Bandy

Crafts and the Materialization of Chiefly Power in Nasca
Kevin J. Vaughn

Sacred Landscapes and Imperial Ideologies: The Wari Empire in Sondondo, Peru
Katharina Schreiber

Architecture and Power on the Wari-Tiwanaku Frontier
Donna J. Nash and Patrick Ryan Williams

Collapse as Cultural Revolution: Power and Identity in the Tiwanaku to Pacajes Transition
John Wayne Janusek

The Expansion, Diversification, and Segmentation of Power in Late Prehispanic Nasca
Christina A. Conlee

Dynamic Display, Propaganda, and the Reinforcement of Provincial Power in the Inca Empire
Dennis Ogburn

La Chichera y El Patrón: Chicha and the Energetics of Feasting in the Prehistoric Andes
Justin Jennings

Power and Practice in the Prehispanic Andes: Final Comments
Jerry D. Moore

List of Contributors

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Author Information

Kevin J. Vaughn is an Associate Professor at Purdue University. His research interests include archaeology and prehispanic mining on the south coast of Peru in Nasca.

Dennis Ogburn is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is an anthropologist specializing in the archaeology of the New World. His primary research is concentrated in Andean South America, where he has conducted field work mainly in Ecuador, but also in Peru. Main interests include understanding the processes of expansion and maintenance of the Inco Empire and other conquest states in the New World and combining advanced scientific techniques (geochemical sourcing and GIS) with analysis of historical materials (ethnohistory).

Christina A. Conlee is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Texas State University. Her research areas include Archaeology of the Andean area of South America, collapse of complex societies, social transformations, and ceramic analysis. Her research is currently focused in the Nasca region on the south coast of Peru.

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