Rural Cuzco before and after Inka Imperial Conquest: Foodways, Status, and Identity (Maras, Peru)

Abstract

State expansion brings cultural change or persistence, and foodways reveal how status and identity result from these events. We examine diet choices and food service at two large villages in the Inka imperial heartland (Cuzco, Peru). Yunkaray was occupied during the time of early Inka expansion (eleventh to fifteenth centuries), whereas Cheqoq housed a late imperial (fifteenth to sixteenth centuries) multiethnic retainer population serving the Inka nobility. We use faunal remains and ceramic assemblages to reveal the uneven process of “Inkanization” and find that migrated retainer laborers had greater affinities with Inka practices than early Inka marriage partners.

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Acknowledgements

Regional survey work of the Maras area and nearby Urubamba Valley were funded by grants to the third author by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0342381) and the Heinz Grant for Latin American archaeology. The collaboration of co-directors Wilfredo Yépez, Miriam Aráoz Silva, and Brian Bauer is gratefully acknowledged. Excavations by the first author at Cheqoq were supported by the National Science Foundation (Dissertation Improvement Grant BCS-938453), the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration (Young Explorers Grant 8691-09), the Fulbright Institute for International Education, and Southern Methodist University. Excavations were permitted by the Instituto Nacional de Cultura-Cusco (Resolución Nacional 1579/INC, 2010). We thank Cheqoq co-directors René Pilco Vargas and Stephanie Pierce Terry. Dartmouth College provided support for the preliminary mapping of Yunkaray, while funding for the 2015 excavation season came in the form of grants to the first author from the National Geographic Society (9500-14) and the Curtiss T. & Mary G. Brennan Foundation. Beloit College, the Manger Family Fund, and the Anthropology Department Student Enrichment Fund supported the excavation and laboratory analysis. The University of Texas at Austin supported fieldwork and laboratory analysis, as well as radiocarbon dating excavation contexts. We thank co-director Karen Durand Cáceres and members of the community of Maras. Excavations were conducted under Resolución Directoral (permit number) 623-2015-DDC-CUS/MC and export of AMS samples was possible thanks to Resolución Viceministerial No. 006-2016-VIMPCIC-MC. We also thank Sarah Kennedy and Scotti Norman for their editorial work on this issue, and express appreciation for helpful reviewer comments from Tamara Bray and Carla Hernández Garavito.

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Quave, K.E., Kennedy, S.A. & Alan Covey, R. Rural Cuzco before and after Inka Imperial Conquest: Foodways, Status, and Identity (Maras, Peru). Int J Histor Archaeol 23, 868–892 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-018-0483-0

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Keywords

  • Inka empire
  • Acculturation
  • Identity
  • Foodways
  • Ceramic analysis