The Past, Present, and Future of Transconquest Archaeologies in the Andes


I reflect on how the series of essays in this themed issue map out an emerging orientation in Andeanist archaeology, the transconquest perspective. Growing out of scholars’ engagements with the local dimensions of Inka and Spanish rule and the methodological and ontological divides that distinguish “history” and “prehistory,” the transconquest perspective attends to the affective connections that constitute polities and shape imperial transitions. I discuss its development, consider the ways in which these articles put it into practice, and suggest two directions in which transconquest archaeologies are pointing the study of colonialism and imperialism, in the Andes and elsewhere.

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I thank Scotti Norman and Sarah Kennedy for the invitation to write this essay, as well as the other authors of pieces in this collection for the opportunity to engage with their work. Comments and suggestions from Tamara Bray and R. Alan Covey on an earlier version of this manuscript greatly assisted in improving it. All mistakes are my own.

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VanValkenburgh, P. The Past, Present, and Future of Transconquest Archaeologies in the Andes. Int J Histor Archaeol 23, 1063–1080 (2019).

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  • Transconquest
  • Colonialism
  • Imperialism
  • Temporality