The Inca imperial road system (qhapaq ñan) is justifiably known as one of the great road networks of the pre-industrial world. But what do we know about its emergence within older Andean traditions of vertical mobility and caravanning? And what were this network's post-conquest legacies for colonial economy and society in the region? This talk tackles these questions through a case study in the south-central Andes (far southern Peru/far northern Chile), drawing on results from several ongoing archaeological survey projects that focus on road infrastructures and landscapes of mobility between the late prehispanic period and the early 20th century. Through this discussion, I reflect on some of the possibilities and challenges of the recent 'transconquest' turn in Andean archaeology and its potential future dialogs beyond the discipline.
Noa Corcoran-Tadd (Ph.D., Harvard). Corcoran-Tadd’s current research explores the long-term history of mobility through the landscapes of northern Chile and southern Peru using a multidisciplinary approach that combines archaeological and archival methods. In particular, he traces the ways in which late prehispanic caravan networks and Inca imperial infrastructures shaped the emergence of new colonial mobilities including the famous ruta de la plata (silver road) that connected the silver mines of highland Bolivia with the globalizing networks of the early modern Pacific. Drawing on this research, he is currently working on a book that uses the archaeological landscapes of the south-central Andes to ground a wider history of indigenous resilience, market participation, and infrastructural projects through the colonial and post-independence periods.
Lunch provided. This event is free and open to the public.