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Americas Archaeology Group

Bill Sillar, University College London) - Materialising Empire: The origins of Inca material culture
When Jan 27, 2017
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Courtyard Building, Downing Street
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Attendees All welcome
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Imperial expansion, including the incorporation of other ethnic groups, drives cultural changes for the colonizer as well as the colonized. Within these colonial encounters the creation of new ‘hybridized’ material culture, combining elements from different cultural groups helps to transform identities and express ideologies. Much recent analysis has focused on the agency of the colonized in this process, but we should not loose site of how the colonisers appropriated labour, materials and symbolic resources to express a new imperial identity. A study of changes in settlement organization, ceramics, stone-working and architecture before and after the Inca conquest of the Lucre Basin shows how the Inca acquired some of the resources they used to materialize their imperial identity. The materials, technical know-how and labour for some of the most iconic ‘Inca’ pottery and stonework only became available after the subjugation of the ethnically distinct Pinagua and Muyna. A better understanding of this process contributes to debates about Inca ‘origins’, showing how this material culture was developed as a tool of Inca statecraft, used to rebuild the capital city, express Inca ideology, and persuade subject populations of imperial power.



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