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Journal Articles Latin American Antiquity Year : 2021

Movement and Imperialism in the valleys of Arica (Andes 18°S)

Movimiento e imperialismo Inca en los valles de Arica (Andes 18° S)

Abstract

Echoing colonial chronicles about the imperial Andean road system, most research on Inca roads has focused on monumental technology and planning as the main characteristics of this late prehispanic infrastructure. Through a regional case study of the Arica valleys (18° S), we show that the Qhapaq Ñan (Inca road system) research may also be understood by considering network dynamics, and not necessarily centered on an exclusive monumental road. We analyze a palimpsest composed of around 13,000 km of roads and paths (extending through deserts, valleys, and mountains) produced by the accumulation through time of road systems of distinct chronological periods. Here, we connect this palimpsest to the late prehispanic settlement pattern to model the flows of movement in the region during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Spatial analyses allow us to identify the most likely structure of local and imperial networks. Finally, we use measurements of centralities and flow accumulation to address the hypothesis that the control of movement was an imperial strategy. The results show that Inca hegemony may have been related to the spatial control of the interaction flows within the region, and also that the palimpsest-based network approach has great potential for the archaeological study of roads in desert and mountain regions.
Haciendo eco de las crónicas coloniales sobre el sistema vial imperial andino, la mayoría de las investigaciones sobre caminos incaicos se han centrado en su planificación y tecnología monumental como las principales características de esta infraestructura prehispánica tardía. Mediante un estudio regional en los valles de Arica (18°S), abordamos, en este trabajo, una investigación del Qhapaq Ñan (sistema vial incaico) desde una perspectiva de redes. Analizamos un palimpsesto de 13.000 km de vías, producido por la acumulación de sistemas viales de distintos períodos cronológicos. Este es relacionado con el patrón de asentamiento prehispánico tardío para modelizar los flujos de movimiento durante los siglos quince y dieciséis: mediante análisis espaciales, delineamos las estructuras más probables de las redes viales local e imperial. Finalmente, consideramos medidas de centralidades y acumulación de flujo para discutir la hipótesis del control del movimiento como estrategia imperial. Los resultados muestran que la hegemonía incaica se pudo relacionar con el control espacial de los flujos de las interacciones, y también que el enfoque de red aplicado a los palimpsestos viales reviste gran potencial para la arqueología del movimiento en regiones desérticas y montañosas. Palabras clave: territorio, patrón de asentamiento, redes viales, imperialismo, Qhapaq Ñan, Inca, Andes Echoing colonial chronicles about the imperial Andean road system, most research on Inca roads has focused on monumental technology and planning as the main characteristics of this late prehispanic infrastructure. Through a regional case study of the Arica valleys (18°S), we show that the Qhapaq Ñan (Inca road system) research may also be understood by considering network dynamics, and not necessarily centered on an exclusive monumental road. We analyze a palimpsest composed of around 13,000 km of roads and paths (extending through deserts, valleys, and mountains) produced by the accumulation through time of road systems of distinct chronological periods. Here, we connect this palimpsest to the late prehispanic settlement pattern to model the flows of movement in the region during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Spatial analyses allow us to identify the most likely structure of local and imperial networks. Finally, we use measurements of centralities and flow accumulation to address the hypothesis that the control of movement was an imperial strategy. The results show that Inca hegemony may have been related to the spatial control of the interaction flows within the region, and also that the palimpsestbased network approach has great potential for the archaeological study of roads in desert and mountain regions.
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Dates and versions

hal-03188382 , version 1 (01-04-2021)

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Pablo Mendez-Quiros Aranda, Thibault Saintenoy. Movimiento e imperialismo Inca en los valles de Arica (Andes 18° S). Latin American Antiquity, 2021, pp.1 - 19. ⟨10.1017/laq.2020.100⟩. ⟨hal-03188382⟩
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