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Building Taypikala: Telluric Transformations in the Lithic Production of Tiwanaku

  • John Wayne Janusek
  • Patrick Ryan Williams
  • Mark Golitko
  • Carlos Lémuz Aguirre
Chapter
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Abstract

Stone configured Tiwanaku construction and identity. A vital component of Tiwanaku’s most important monuments, it defined Tiwanaku as a place and a people. Here we summarize ongoing geoarchaeological research into the lithic production of Tiwanaku monumentality. We discuss our research on stone quarrying and monumental production in light of previous investigation on the topic. We conclude that monumental stone production was critical to Tiwanaku’s emergence as a central urban center. A shift in lithic materials, sources, and quarrying technologies propelled Tiwanaku’s rise as a primary urban center during the Andean Middle Horizon. This was a transformation from sandstone, quarried in the nearby Kimsachata Mountains, to the strategic inclusion of more durable volcanic andesite, quarried in several new more distant locations including the extinct volcano Mount Ccapia. Our research attests the telluric foundation of Tiwanaku urbanism and cosmology, which originated in Late Formative centers and interaction networks. It also attests the importance of the contrasting materiality of two classes of stone—their differing colors and durabilities, technologies of monumental production, and montane places of origin—for Tiwanaku’s emergent centrality and cosmology.

Keywords

Late Formative Petrographic Analysis Stone Quarrying Volcanic Source Sandstone Block 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Nico and Kevin for inviting us to present a paper in the SAA panel that generated this volume. The fieldwork on which this paper is based is indebted to the help of many people. Andy Roddick (the archaeologist, not the tennis player) helped during most phases of the project. Others include Manuel Choque, our guide in the Kausani Valley, Julio Condori, Charee Peters, and Michelle Young. Project funding derived in part from a Vanderbilt University Discovery grant and a grant from the Curtiss T. and Mary G. Brennan Foundation. The Innov-X PXRF device used in this study (project EAF076) was purchased with a grant from the Field Museum’s Grainger Fund for Scientific Research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Wayne Janusek
    • 1
  • Patrick Ryan Williams
    • 2
  • Mark Golitko
    • 2
  • Carlos Lémuz Aguirre
    • 3
  1. 1.AnthropologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Field Museum of Natural HistoryChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Sociedad de Arqueologia de La Paz, y Universidad Mayor de San AndrésLa PazBolivia

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