Memory Landscapes of the Inka Carved Outcrops
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Memory Landscapes of the Inka Carved Outcrops

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Memory Landscapes of the Inka Carved Outcrops: From Past to Present presents a comprehensive analysis of the carved rocks the Inka created in the Andean highlands during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. It provides an overview of Inka history, a detailed analysis of the techniques and styles of carving, and five comprehensive case studies. It opens in the Inka capital, Cusco, one of the two locations where the geometric style of Inka carving was authored by the ninth ruler Pachakuti Inka Yupanki. The following chapters move to the origin places on the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca and at Pumaurqu, southwest of Cusco, where the Inka constructed the emergence of the first members of their dynasty from sacred rock outcrops. The final case studies focus upon the royal estates of Machu Picchu and Chinchero. Machu Picchu is the second site where Pachakuti appears to have authored the geometric style. Chinchero was built by his son, Thupa Inka Yupanki, who adopted his father's strategy of rock carving and associated political messages. The methodology used in this book reconstructs relational networks between the sculpted outcrops, the land and people and examines how such networks have changed over time. The primary focus documents the specific political context of Inka carved rocks expanded into the performance of a stone ideology, which set Inka stone cults decidedly apart from earlier and later agricultural as well as ritual uses of empowered stones. When the Inka state formed in the mid-fifteenth century, carved rocks were used to mark local territories in and around Cusco. In the process of imperial expansion, selected outcrops were sculpted in peripheral regions to map Inka presence and showcase the cultivated and ordered geography of the state.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 316 pages
  • 158 x 234 x 28mm | 599g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 16 Maps; 24 Halftones, black and white
  • 0739194887
  • 9780739194881

Review quote

The precision-fitted masonry of Inca architecture has been celebrated for its beauty and advanced degree of engineering. However, the significance of carved outcrops in Inca religious ideology has received far less attention. Christie provides a welcome synthesis of information on modified stone while offering novel interpretations of the role of built environments in Inca imperial strategies. Her theoretical framework combines phenomenological approaches popular in British archaeology with practice and political landscapes perspectives. The latter recognizes that the interrelationships between peoples, places, and things set the parameters for political engagement and structured past power asymmetries. Christie contends that carving stone outcrops initially fostered private dialogues and reciprocal dependencies between animated landforms and imperial agents. However, the carved rock soon came to mark Inca sovereignty, territorial boundaries, and the direct intervention of the state. Christie's detailed examination of modified outcrops in the Cusco region and elsewhere reveals their multiple meanings and agencies, and she traces continuity and change in stone cults from the Inca period to the present. She even argues that certain groups of boulders were gridded like khipus and functioned as counting devices (yupanas). Should appeal to scholars interested in political landscape and the semiotic affordance of stone in the Andean context and beyond. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. CHOICE Prof. Christie offers insightful analysis of Inca architectural and sculptural intervention in the Andean landscape. Her study is an important and lasting contribution to our understanding of the Inca and their world. -- Adam Herring, Southern Methodist University Scholars have neglected the carved rock monuments of the later Inkas. These are permanent, meaningful records left at the behest of the rulers of this great empire without writing. Christie brings a fresh art history perspective to these carvings and offers unexpected insights into the functioning of Inka political agency -- Patricia J. Netherly, Vanderbilt University An important contribution to Inca studies, both as an analysis of archaeological and ethnohistorical research and a substantive study of Inca culture and landscape. Jessica Christie contributes first-hand observations on Inca carved rocks and royal estates as focal points of Inca expressive culture and state ideology -- Maarten van de Guchte, Independent researcher, Atlantic Beach, Floridashow more

About Jessica Joyce Christie

Jessica Joyce Christie is an associate professor at the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University.show more

Table of contents

Dedication List of Figures Introduction: Background, Purpose, Methodologies, and Findings, Source Materials Chapter 1: Formal and Structural Analysis of Inka Carved Rocks Carving Techniques Pre-Inka Roots of Stone Carving and Rock Art The Formal Elements of Inka Carved Rocks: Structural Features Associated with Carved Rocks Chapter 2: Carved Rocks on the Cusco Zeq'e Lines Groundwork Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks - Appearance, Experience, and Perception Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks - Essence, Imagination, and Stone Ideology Summary Chapter 3: The Birthplace of the Sun, Moon and the Inka Ancestors on the Island of the Sun and the Southern Basin of Lake Titicaca Groundwork Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks - Appearance, Experience, and Perception Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks -Essence, Imagination, and Stone Ideology Chapter 4: Inka Pacariqtambo - A Landscape of Power Relations through Time Groundwork Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks -Appearance, Essence, and Perception Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks -Essence, Imagination, and Stone Ideology Chapter 5: Machu Picchu Royal Estates Machu Picchu Groundwork Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks - Appearance, Experience, and Perception Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks - Essence, Imagination, and Stone Ideology Conclusions Chapter 6: Chinchero Groundwork Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks -Appearance, Experience, and Perception Inka Landscape and Carved Rocks -Essence, Imagination, and Stone Ideology Conclusions Chapter 7: Discussion and Conclusions Major Results of this Investigation Relations with Stony Places Constructed in the Contemporary National and Global Worlds Conclusions Afterword Referencesshow more