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Rebuilding the State in Highland Peru: Herder-Cultivator Interaction during the Late Intermediate Period in the Tarama-Chinchaycocha Region

  • Jeffrey R. Parsons (a1), Charles M. Hastings (a2) and Ramiro Matos M. (a3)

Abstract

We address the general problem of sociopolitical evolution in highland Peru during the Late Intermediate period (ca. A.D. 1000-1470) from the perspective of changing relationships between herders and cultivators in the Tarama-Chinchaycocha region. First, we use ethnographic and ethnohistoric information to help model central Andean herder-cultivator interaction. Here we emphasize the ecological and sociological foundations for economic specialization, the ritually based integration of pastoral and agricultural groups in the absence of strong state organization, and how the ritually interactive units define and maintain their borders. Second, in the light of these perspectives, we examine archaeological settlement pattern data from our study area in the central highlands of Peru. We conclude that the Late Intermediate period was a time of significant organizational change that included new forms of ritually based local and regional integration of pastoral and agricultural economies. Third, we briefly consider the general implications of our findings for understanding organizational change throughout the central Andean highlands during the Late Intermediate period. We suggest that the largest and most complex Late Intermediate highland polities depended on the full integration of specialized pastoralists and agriculturalists in those regions where both economies could attain maximal combined productivity in the aftermath of the breakdown of large states at the end of the Middle Horizon (ca. A.D. 600-1000).

Nuestro interés general es la evolución sociopolítica en la sierra peruana durante el periodo Intermedio Tardío (ca. 1000-1470 d.C.). Tomamos en cuenta datos sobre patrones de asentamiento regional, que nos informan sobre cambios en las interacciones entre pastores y agricultores. En la primera se intenta formular un modelo para los Andes centrales, que versa sobre la interacción entre pastores y agricultores durante el periodo Intermedio Tardío utilizando la información etnográfica y etnohistórica. Ponemos énfasis en los fundamentos ecológicos y sociológicos para explicar la especialización en la economía, basada ritualmente en la integración entre grupos de pastores y agricultores, frente a la ausencia de una poderosa organización estatal. En la segunda, a la luz de esta perspectiva, con los datos arqueológicos, analizamos el patrón de asentamiento de la región Tarama-Chinchaycocha, en la sierra central del Perú. Aunque se pone especial énfasis en el periodo Intermedio Tardío, consideramos oportuna una breve explicación sobre los antecedentes en el horizonte Medio (ca. 600-1000 d.C.) y en el periodo Intermedio Temprano (ca. 300 a.C.-600 d. C.). Concluimos señalando que el periodo Intermedio Tardío fue un tiempo en el cual ocurrieron serios cambios en la organización, que incluyeron a las nuevas formas locales como base de ritual y de la integración regional en la economía de pastores y agricultores. En la tercera, consideramos brevemente las implicaciones generales de nuestras conclusiones sobre los cambios en la organización en la sierra central durante el periodo Intermedio Tardío. Sugerimos que los más grandes y complejos señoríos de esta época fueron dependientes de los mecanismos de integración de pastores y agricultores, especialmente en las regiones serranas favorecidas, en las cuales ambas economías habrían sido beneficiadas por el máximo potencial productivo en la región, dando lugar, con este hecho, a la ausencia o fracaso de grandes estados regionales después del horizonte Medio.

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Rebuilding the State in Highland Peru: Herder-Cultivator Interaction during the Late Intermediate Period in the Tarama-Chinchaycocha Region

  • Jeffrey R. Parsons (a1), Charles M. Hastings (a2) and Ramiro Matos M. (a3)

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