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PLAZAS AND PROCESSIONAL PATHS IN TIWANAKU TEMPLES: DIVERGENCE, CONVERGENCE, AND ENCOUNTER AT OMO M10, MOQUEGUA, PERU

  • Paul S. Goldstein (a1) and Matthew J. Sitek (a1)

Abstract

Reconstructing access patterns, in particular processional and liturgical movement in ceremonial architecture, can illuminate social processes within expansive states. Extensive excavations from 2010–2012 in the uniquely preserved Tiwanaku temple at the Omo M10 site in Moquegua, Peru (ca. AD 500–1100), shed new light on connectedness and access patterns of the temple. Extensive areal excavations confirm past interpretations of a central axial series of doorways and staircases presided over by stelae and U-shaped, altar-like structures leading from public plazas to the sunken court and a central shrine. However, new findings revealed separate lateral pathways through the structure, which suggest liturgical processions to walled patio groups that were isolated from the central axis. We posit that these small patios and their roofed chambers may have functioned as chapels for distinct groups or pluralistic cultic activities that were separate from those of the central axis. Implications for Tiwanaku social structure are studied in light of other examples of triple entryways in Tiwanaku monumental architecture, and Kolata's suggestion of “Taypi” as a structural amalgam of a center and complementary halves, with implications of mediation and bilateral complementarity between ethnicities, genders, moieties, or other pluralistic entities within Tiwanaku state and society.

Reconstruir los patrones de acceso y, por lo tanto, el movimiento procesional y litúrgico en la arquitectura ceremonial puede indicar los procesos sociales que tuvieron lugar dentro de los estados arcaicos. Las excavaciones en el templo de Tiwanaku en el sitio de Omo M10, Moquegua, Perú (ca. 500–1100 dC), demuestran la interconexión entre ambientes y patrones de acceso a diferentes partes del templo. Las excavaciones de 2010–2012 confirman una serie axial de siete puertas, escaleras y estelas, conectando las plazas públicas con acceso restringido al patio semisubterráneo y una capilla central. Sin embargo, también se hallaron caminos laterales independientes que conducen a una serie de patios amurallados escondidos que pudieron haber funcionado como capillas para actividades religiosas separadas. En este trabajo consideramos la existencia de actividades litúrgicas pluralistas tales como cultos centralizados en la arquitectura monumental de Tiwanaku. Sugerimos el concepto de “Taypi” como una amalgama estructural de centro y mitades complementarias, con implicaciones de género, grupos sociales, ayllus o grupos étnicos y otras posibilidades de complementariedad pluralista en Tiwanaku.

Copyright

Corresponding author

(psgoldstein@ucsd.edu, corresponding author)

References

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PLAZAS AND PROCESSIONAL PATHS IN TIWANAKU TEMPLES: DIVERGENCE, CONVERGENCE, AND ENCOUNTER AT OMO M10, MOQUEGUA, PERU

  • Paul S. Goldstein (a1) and Matthew J. Sitek (a1)

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