Alba Menéndez Pereda

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Los Angeles, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10708

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Menéndez Pereda, Alba (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "Making and Experiencing Sacredness: The Architecture and Ephemerality of the Coricancha"

My project examines conceptualizations and expressions of sacredness in the former Inca capital of Cuzco in present-day Peru focusing on the period between 1440 and 1650 C.E. The Inca identified the temple of the Coricancha as their axis mundi and the center of state religion, making it the ideal site to explore this topic. My research seeks to identify (1) how the Inca conceived of and constructed sacredness; (2) the role that the senses played in the experience of sacredness; (3) how the temple was transformed in the early colonial period; and (4) present-day understandings of the site. To answer these questions, I will first study extant architecture at the Coricancha and undertake an area survey. Second, I will examine material culture excavated within and around the complex to identify the activities that took place in the area. Third, I will analyze colonial-period archival data to complement my material studies and gain insight into the transformation of the Inca temple. Fourth, I will create a digital model of the Coricancha to test climate conditions, acoustics, and sightlines and elucidate its sensorial experience. Finally, I will interview contemporary stakeholders of the site to understand the role it plays today.