The study of craft production is a complex and challenging one that illuminates key aspects of the material, organizational, and ideological interests, values, and capacities of a given culture.
Many crafts are treated as separate, but are actually practiced concurrently and in close proximity to each other, facilitating crucial interaction. There is a need for a balanced evaluation of the roles of producer and consumer in craft production, and the importance of properly contextualized workshop excavations and the definition of the entire sequence of operation in documenting craft production both as a social and material process.
Craft Production in Complex Societies redresses the skewed conception and approach to craft production that have been shaped by studies focused on separate, single medium crafts, finished products, and the consumer. It presents case studies and regional syntheses from diverse geographical areas, time periods, and sociopolitical complexities that break important new ground in the anthropological study of the creative role and social identity of the producer and multi-craft production. It is expected to serve as a key reference in craft studies for many years to come.
Massive yet elegantly executed masonry architecture and andenes (agricultural terraces) set against majestic and seemingly boundless Andean landscapes, roads built in defiance of rugged terrains, and fine textiles with orderly geometric designs—all were created within the largest political system in the ancient New World, a system headed, paradoxically, by a single, small minority group without wheeled vehicles, markets, or a writing system, the Inka. For some 130 years (ca. A.D. 1400 to 1533), the Inka ruled over at least eighty-six ethnic groups in an empire that encompassed about 2 million square kilometers, from the northernmost region of the Ecuador–Colombia border to northwest Argentina.
The Inka Empire brings together leading international scholars from many complementary disciplines, including human genetics, linguistics, textile and architectural studies, ethnohistory, and archaeology, to present a state-of-the-art, holistic, and in-depth vision of the Inkas. The contributors provide the latest data and understandings of the political, demographic, and linguistic evolution of the Inkas, from the formative era prior to their political ascendancy to their post-conquest transformation. The scholars also offer an updated vision of the unity, diversity, and essence of the material, organizational, and symbolic-ideological features of the Inka Empire. As a whole, The Inka Empire demonstrates the necessity and value of a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates the insights of fields beyond archaeology and ethnohistory. And with essays by scholars from seven countries, it reflects the cosmopolitanism that has characterized Inka studies ever since its beginnings in the nineteenth century.
Living with the Dead in the Andes
Edited by Izumi Shimada and James L. Fitzsimmons University of Arizona Press, 2015 Library of Congress PM4176.S2 | Dewey Decimal 497.4
The Andean idea of death differs markedly from the Western view. In the Central Andes, particularly the highlands, death is not conceptually separated from life, nor is it viewed as a permanent state. People, animals, and plants simply transition from a soft, juicy, dynamic life to drier, more lasting states, like dry corn husks or mummified ancestors. Death is seen as an extension of vitality.
Living with the Dead in the Andes considers recent research by archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, ethnographers, and ethnohistorians whose work reveals the diversity and complexity of the dead-living interaction. The book’s contributors reap the salient results of this new research to illuminate various conceptions and treatments of the dead: “bad” and “good” dead, mummified and preserved, the body represented by art or effigies, and personhood in material and symbolic terms.
Death does not end or erase the emotional bonds established in life, and a comprehensive understanding of death requires consideration of the corpse, the soul, and the mourners. Lingering sentiment and memory of the departed seems as universal as death itself, yet often it is economic, social, and political agendas that influence the interactions between the dead and the living.
Nine chapters written by scholars from diverse countries and fields offer data-rich case studies and innovative methodologies and approaches. Chapters include discussions on the archaeology of memory, archaeothanatology (analysis of the transformation of the entire corpse and associated remains), a historical analysis of postmortem ritual activities, and ethnosemantic-iconographic analysis of the living-dead relationship. This insightful book focuses on the broader concerns of life and death.
Scholars have recently achieved new insights into the many ways in which the dead and the living interacted from the Late Preclassic to the Conquest in Mesoamerica. The eight essays in this useful volume were written by well-known scholars who offer cross-disciplinary and synergistic insights into the varied articulations between the dead and those who survived them. From physically opening the tomb of their ancestors and carrying out ancestral heirlooms to periodic feasts, sacrifices, and other lavish ceremonies, heirs revisited death on a regular basis. The activities attributable to the dead, moreover, range from passively defining territorial boundaries to more active exploits, such as “dancing” at weddings and “witnessing” royal accessions. The dead were—and continued to be—a vital part of everyday life in Mesoamerican cultures.
This book results from a symposium organized by the editors for an annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The contributors employ historical sources, comparative art history, anthropology, and sociology, as well as archaeology and anthropology, to uncover surprising commonalities across cultures, including the manner in which the dead were politicized, the perceptions of reciprocity between the dead and the living, and the ways that the dead were used by the living to create, define, and renew social as well as family ties. In exploring larger issues of a “good death” and the transition from death to ancestry, the contributors demonstrate that across Mesoamerica death was almost never accompanied by the extinction of a persona; it was more often the beginning of a social process than a conclusion.
This volume brings together essays on the nature of political organization of the Moche, a complex pre-Inca society that existed on the north coast of Peru from c. 100 to 800 CE. Since the discovery of the royal tombs of Sipán in 1987, the Moche have become one of the best-known pre-Hispanic cultures of the Americas and the focus of a number of archaeological projects. But the nature of Moche political organization is still debated. Some scholars view the Moche as a monolithic state, others see a clear distinction between a northern and southern Moche polity, and yet others argue that the most accurate model is one in which each valley contained an independent polity. In a presentation of new data and new perspectives, the authors debate these competing theories. Based on a set of papers presented by sixteen international scholars at the Dumbarton Oaks Pre-Columbian Studies symposium held in Lima, Peru, in 2004, this volume marks an important point in the development of Moche archaeology and will be a landmark work in Pre-Columbian studies.
Pampa Grande, the largest and most powerful city of the Mochica (Moche) culture on the north coast of Peru, was built, inhabited, and abandoned during the period A.D. 550-700. It is extremely important archaeologically as one of the few pre-Hispanic cities in South America for which there are enough reliable data to reconstruct a model of pre-Hispanic urbanism.
This book presents a "biography" of Pampa Grande that offers a reconstruction not only of the site itself but also of the sociocultural and economic environment in which it was built and abandoned. Izumi Shimada argues that Pampa Grande was established rapidly and without outside influence at a strategic position at the neck of the Lambayeque Valley that gave it control over intervalley canals and their agricultural potential and allowed it to gain political dominance over local populations. Study of the site itself leads him to posit a large resident population made up of transplanted Mochica and local non-Mochica groups with a social hierarchy of at least three tiers.