James Alexander Davenport

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New Mexico, Albuquerque, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9810

Approve Date

April 29, 2019

Project Title

Davenport, James (New Mexico, Albuquerque, U. of) "Hand of the State, Hand of the Potter: Communication and Imperial Control in Tawantinsuyu"

JAMES DAVENPORT, then a graduate student at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, was awarded a grant in April 2019 to aid research on ‘Hand of the State, Hand of the Potter: Communication and Imperial Control in Tawantinsuyu,’ supervised by Dr. Francis Hayashida. To create and maintain control among their subjects, empires produce feasts, rituals, ceremonies, and other events in the provinces. These events require objects in imperial styles for their production, but in some empires the production of these objects is decentralized and carried out by subjects. This study investigates the organization of production for Inka style pottery at Pachacamac, once the political and ritual capital of the Ychsma polity on Peru’s central coast which was transformed into a major Inka provincial center. It found that this organization was complex. Some Inka pottery was produced by local Ychsma potters. Additionally, groups of potters from Peru’s north coast and potentially other regions were relocated to Pachacamac to work full-time making pottery for the state. Some of the pottery was also imported to Pachacamac from other Inka centers. Different groups of potters supplied different areas and activities at Pachacamac, and there is evidence for task segmentation of different parts of the pottery production process, with potters from different groups and backgrounds forming and decorating Inka pottery that was used at Pachacamac. The complexity in this organization indicates that there may be ontological distinctions in how the pottery was made or what its intended use was.