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Microscopic Rocks and Expansive Empires: Investigating Inca Ceramics from Cuzco, Peru

Ixer, R; Lunt, S; Sillar, B; Thompson, P; (2014) Microscopic Rocks and Expansive Empires: Investigating Inca Ceramics from Cuzco, Peru. Archaeology International , 17 pp. 122-136. 10.5334/ai.1702. Green open access

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Abstract

High quality polychrome ceramics are an iconic aspect of Inca material culture. This ‘Cuzco Inca’ pottery appears suddenly in the archaeological record: but it draws upon technological and stylistic aspects of earlier local pottery and we discuss the specifics of how these pre-Inca traits were combined to form the distinctive new state ceramics. Using ceramic petrography, the dominant fabric of Cuzco Inca pottery is compared with those of two pre-Inca wares, Killke and Lucre. Andesite temper, identified in the Lucre and Cuzco Inca fabrics, is compared with samples of andesite from local geological outcrops. This suggests that Lucre pottery was made using similar materials to Cuzco Inca and was a technological precursor. Because these materials and technological knowledge would only have become available to the Inca after their conquest of the Lucre cultural area, this ceramic evidence has important implications for our understanding of Imperial expansion and state intervention in craft-production.

Type: Article
Title: Microscopic Rocks and Expansive Empires: Investigating Inca Ceramics from Cuzco, Peru
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/ai.1702
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/ai.1702
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2014 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470754
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