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  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: March 2015

18 - The distribution of power: hierarchy and its discontents

from Part IV - Early cities and the distribution of power


A long history of incipient urbanism in the southern Andes produced Tiwanaku, and yet, in turn, urban centrality transformed the southern Andes. This chapter focuses on two critical aspects of Tiwanaku's emergent centrality. Khonkho Wankane and Tiwanaku were sparsely inhabited centers of recurring periodic gathering and ritual activity. The chapter explores the origins of southern Andean urbanism. Tiwanaku emerged as a city between 500 and 600 CE in the Andean altiplano or high plateau. Tiwanaku thrived as an urban center during the Andean Middle Horizon. Next, the chapter discusses Tiwanaku's urban origins by explicating the recently investigated Late Formative site of Khonkho Wankane and emphasizing its distributed proto-urbanism as Tiwanaku's precursor and producer. Finally, it discusses the reason people came to these centers to begin with, focusing on the importance of cyclical social gatherings at built landscapes that facilitated proximity to ancestral monolithic personages.

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