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University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9049)
Bradley J. Parker (Project Director: December 2016 to February 2018)
Matthew Edwards (Project Director: February 2018 to present)
Rory J. Becker (Co Project Director: February 2018 to present)
A Comprehensive Approach to Inca and Wari Imperialism in the Nazca Headwaters, Ayacucho, Peru

An archaeological study of the rise and fall of the Wari and Inca Empires, examining road networks and surrounding territory in the Andes mountains in the southern province of Ayacucho in Peru, to result in a website, an open-access database, journal articles, and a monograph. (36 months)

In her seminal chapter simply entitled "Empires," Carla Sinopoli (2001) lamented the fact that scholarship on ancient empires, the largest and most complex of pre-modern states, is far less developed than scholarship on other less complex ancient polities. This circumstance is further compounded by the fact that theoretical constructs used to organize, categorize and frame our understanding of ancient empires have been slow to develop. This situation is about to change. This grant will support a comprehensive field project aimed at disentangling the archaeologies of empire in a large study area in southern Ayacucho province of central Peru. Taking a multi-scalar approach, this project will produce comprehensive datasets from pre-Wari, Wari, pre-Inca and Inca times. Comparing these datasets will not only allow us to study phases of expansion, consolidation and collapse of two ancient empires, but will also enable us to examine the effects of imperialism in other regions and periods.

Project fields:
Ancient History; Latin American History

Collaborative Research

Research Programs

$200,000 (approved)
$199,985 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2018 – 1/31/2022