Huánaco Pampa, Peru

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A large Inca city covering 2 square kilometres in the north central highlands of Peru. Probably a provincial capital, the city was set out in sectors around a central plaza some 550 m by 350 m.

Functionally specialized sectors include high‐status residence areas, food preparation zones, a military garrison, and a compound with restricted access which might have been occupied by ‘chosen women’. Hundreds of storage buildings were constructed on the hillside above the site.

Excavations by Craig Morris suggest that the site was occupied mainly by people brought in to give their labour to the empire. In rooms adjacent to the plaza, excavations revealed much pottery from storage vessels as well as food preparation and serving vessels. The plaza was possibly used for large‐scale communal feasting organized by the chiefs and suggesting that the Inca state derived its authority through the liberal ceremonial redistribution of food, drink, and goods.


C. Morris and D. E. Thompson, 1985, Huánaco Pampa: an Andean city and its hinterland. London: Thames & Hudson

Subjects: Archaeology.

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