Warfare and the Built Environment

Elizabeth N. Arkush

in Hillforts of the Ancient Andes

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035260
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039107 | DOI:
Warfare and the Built Environment

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This chapter is a study of a society at war. The Colla and their Titicaca basin neighbors are key subjects for understanding warfare and the political process in the Late Intermediate period. The density of hilltop forts in the northern Titicaca basin indicates frequent warfare even in the supposed heartland of Colla territory. The Colla fought over the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca, and then of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Like any people at war, the Colla were not engaged in active conflict all the time. But frequent warfare (perhaps over limited natural resources), along with drought and environmental changes, powerfully influenced the society's settlement choices and physical defenses, as well as their interaction with the landscape. By focusing on the pre-Inca society in this key region of the Andes, this book demonstrates how a thorough archaeological investigation of these hillfort towns reveals new ways to study the sociopolitical organization of pre-Columbian societies.

Keywords: Colla; Titicaca basin; warfare; hillfort; Inca society; pre-Columbian societies

Chapter.  7162 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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