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Hillforts of the Ancient Andes: Colla Warfare, Society, and Landscape

Hillforts of the Ancient Andes: Colla Warfare, Society, and Landscape

by Elizabeth N. Arkush


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Winner of the Society for American Archaeology Book Award

"Using a bold combination of surface survey, excavation, and cutting-edge GIS modeling, Arkush examines the social conditions that existed in the Andes during this period of unprecedented regional conflict and provides critical insights into the culture of war which existed at this time."—Brian S. Bauer, University of Illinois, Chicago
"Arkush's architectural analysis and study of artifacts is accompanied by a new body of radiocarbon dates that turn traditional documentary interpretations of Colla social organization on their heads. This is an important advance in our understanding of late prehispanic societies in the Andean highlands."—R. Alan Covey, Southern Methodist University

By AD 1000, the Colla controlled the high-altitude plains near Lake Titicaca in southern Peru. They fought over the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca (who described them as the most formidible foes they faced) circa 1450, and then of the Spanish in the sixteenth century.
Like any people at war, the Colla were not engaged in active conflict all of the time. But frequent warfare (perhaps over limited natural resources), along with drought and environmental changes, powerfully influenced the society's settlement choices and physical defenses, as well as their interaction with the landscape.
By focusing on the pre-Inca society in this key region of the Andes, Elizabeth Arkush demonstrates how a thorough archaeological investigation of these hillfort towns reveals new ways to study the sociopolitical organization of pre-Columbian societies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813061740
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 12/08/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Elizabeth N. Arkush is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

List of Figures xi

List of Tables xv

Preface and Acknowledgments xvii

1 Warfare and the Built Environment 1

2 The Colla and Their Lands 21

3 Studying Fortifications 59

4 Hierarchy and Heterarchy within Pukara Communities 76

5 Allies and Enemies: Pukaras in Their Spatial World 141

6 Explaining Colla War: Pukaras through Time 182

7 Fractured Landscapes: Fortification and Regional Histories 213

Appendix: Additional Tables 227

Notes 235

References 251

Index 287

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