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From Stew-Eaters to Maize-Drinkers

The Chicha Economy and the Tiwanaku Expansion

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Abstract

In this paper, I consider the close correlation of dramatic changes in culinary traditions with the political development of one of the New World’s earliest expansive state societies. A comparison of Tiwanaku’s ceramic assemblages with those of its antecedents, as well as settlement pattern and household archaeology and preliminary isotopic data on diet, suggest that the Tiwanaku phenomenon was accompanied by revolutionary new patterns in food, drink, and daily domestic life. In examining these changes in the Tiwanaku core region and in its peripheries my goal is to consider the intersection of shifts in culinary traditions with changes not only in domestic and political economy, but in the social and cultural realities and identities signified by quotidian daily life. I argue that radical culinary change was a crucial aspect of the incorporation of disparate peoples into the Tiwanaku civilization. The growth of Tiwanaku as a polity and a shared corporate identity was accompanied by three simultaneous and related phenomena: 1) the development and rapid diffusion of a hitherto unseen functional assemblage dedicated to preparing and serving maize beer, 2) the successful long-term colonization of maize-producing regions, and 3) the promulgation of a shared corporate identity among confederated ethnic groups and clans linked by a common ideology. This incorporation appears to have been largely consensual, rather than coerced, and the principal culinary factor was a mania for maize beer that took root everywhere Tiwanaku influence was accepted.

Keywords

  • Political Economy
  • Storage Vessel
  • Habitation Site
  • Liquid Transport
  • Ceramic Assemblage

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Goldstein, P.S. (2003). From Stew-Eaters to Maize-Drinkers. In: Bray, T.L. (eds) The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_6

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