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Title page for ETD etd-08012012-131813

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zovar, Jennifer Montgomery Johnson
Author's Email Address jennifer.zovar@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-08012012-131813
Title Post-Collapse Constructions of Community, Memory, and Identity: An Archaeological Analysis of Late Intermediate Period Community Formation in Bolivia's Desaguadero Valley
Degree PhD
Department Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
John W. Janusek Committee Chair
Daniel H. Usner Committee Member
Jason Yaeger Committee Member
Steven Wernke Committee Member
Tiffiny A. Tung Committee Member
  • ceramics
  • community
  • post-collapse
  • collapse
  • Andes
Date of Defense 2012-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Theory in archaeology often concentrates on the “rise” or “collapse” of civilizations, while periods of instability following collapse have been underresearched. This is especially true in Bolivia’s southern Titicaca basin, where previous investigations have focused on the growth, expansion, and collapse of Tiwanaku. The goal of this dissertation was to use the large settlement of Pukara de Khonkho (located just 25 km south of Tiwanaku) as a test case to examine post-collapse community development and to clarify the local chronology, specifically considering the roles of population movement and intercommunity interaction.

The research expands a body of literature on the archaeology of communities, a frame which is especially useful given the local nature of post-collapse developments. Pukara de Khonkho was examined through a multifaceted program of archaeological excavation, mapping, and artifact analysis. In order to put the site in regional and temporal context, additional research was conducted into Late Intermediate Period components at the nearby site of Khonkho Wankane and the Inca-Colonial site of Ch’aucha de Khula Marka. The major analytic focus was on a study of ceramics, including the creation of a new local typology.

This new data provides a more nuanced understanding than was previously possible of Late Intermediate Period occupation in the southern Titicaca Basin and illustrates the broader value of post-collapse studies. Following Tiwanaku collapse (ca. 1150 AD), the ceremonial centers of the altiplano were virtually abandoned, giving way to smaller, ephemeral settlements, including ritual and quotidian use of pre-Tiwanaku sites like Khonkho Wankane. Research conducted for this dissertation has demonstrated that around 1300 AD some of these scattered populations began to come together at Pukara de Khonkho. Investigations illustrated that the site was well-integrated into the local landscape, with clearly defined areas for ritual, mortuary, domestic, and agricultural purposes as well as a shared pattern of material culture. The site was abruptly abandoned around the time of Inca conquest.

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