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However, the mountaintop shrine system also incorporated another facet of the materialization of ideology through human sacrifice. The use of the human body as a sacrificial offering ultimately became a tangible representation of the dominant state ideology much like the huaca to which the sacrifice was being offered.

Although the Inca relied heavily on the materialization of ideology created before them, this example demonstrates that they also had the potential to create their own tangible representations of ideology. The materialization of ideology by the Inca ultimately went beyond the creation of just tangible objects or places. This materialized ideology was so well-established in the Andes that its use to unite the Inca and non-Inca people was a practical and attainable goal, as the power of these huacas was recognized and harnessed.

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Although the Inca were the ultimate wielders of political and social power, by utilizing huacas as tools of organization, they still remained intertwined with state ideology rather than removed from it. Because the Inca Empire was built upon many generations of Inca and Andean ideological beliefs, the elite individuals who rose to power over the non-Inca were still deeply tied to these beliefs, which they both imposed and embodied.

As a result of this ideological embodiment, the Inca were able to command their landscape to suit their political and social organizational needs. In order for this political command to be successful within the Andean region, the Inca needed to institutionalize specific parameters that all Andean people could follow. These parameters were best established through the materialization of ideology both in the Cusco Ceque System and the mountaintop shrine system. The Inca ultimately began their expansion into the Andes from their capital city of Cusco. This primary location of Inca influence and power, at the core of the expanding Empire, demonstrated the ideological parameters to be adhered to in all out lying polities.

Through the integration of the Cusco Ceque System into all aspects of the political and social realms, the Inca demonstrated the importance of materialized ideology as an organizational tool. By first establishing this importance in the Inca capital, the use of the materialization of ideology could be diffused outwards into other Inca regions.


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The mountaintop shrine system was an important cohesion tool used by the Inca to link communities beyond the physical reach of Cusco to the similar ideological parameters established first within the capital. The use of materialized ideology in the Andean region was not only demonstrated by the Inca but also preceding cultures that utilized and manipulated belief systems to unite different regions across the landscape Conrad and Demarest Moreover, the materialization of ideology was not only characteristic of Empire building but also other forms of government that relied upon the power of ideology as a connecting vein between communities.

Because materialized ideology can take various forms and meanings, there are many different contexts in which this theoretical framework can by applied by Andean scholars; for example with regard to the Moche culture of the Early Intermediate Period to the Early Middle Horizon Period B. Characteristic of the Moche culture was a reliance on material symbols to promote a standard ideology between groups of powerful rulers that dotted the landscape of northern Peru Dillehay The unified ideological belief system that the Moche came to embody was based primarily on the use of cohesive visual arts that promoted public rituals Dillehay ; Pillsbury These fine-line drawings were strictly controlled by the Moche elites who used this materialized ideology to appropriate their own history and traditions and legitimate their social position DeMarrais et al.

Within a Moche context, this visual ideology of the various religious cults was considered a vital mechanism for the unification and centralization of power similar to the Inca use of huacas to consolidate power Dillehay While the Inca demonstrated their materialized ideology through large-scale architecture and landscapes Cusco Ceque System and the mountaintop shrine system the Moche diffused their ideology through small-scale material goods, such as pottery, and through public rituals, particularly burial ceremonies DeMarrais et al. It was because the Moche could materialize the common ideological beliefs through visual art, iconography, and ritual that they created cohesion among the elites of many smaller groups occupying northern Peru.

Although the Moche culture cannot be considered governmentally equivalent to the Inca, similar mechanisms of using ideology as a unifying tool are present in both cultures. This brief example demonstrates that the Inca were not the only Andean culture that relied on use of long-standing Andean beliefs to supplement their own goals and agendas. Ideology represents an important unification tool that characterized various cultures of the pre-contact Andean world. Overall, the role of ideology within a political and social context is difficult to assess in the archaeological or ethnohistorical record.

The subjective nature of ideological understandings generally causes the omission of ideological interpretations when examining past cultures. Although ideology cannot explain all aspects of Inca political control and social organization, it can still contribute significantly to the understanding of how the Inca Empire was built. Huacas, as representations of the materialization of ideology, were important elements aiding in the Inca consolidation of power and need to be further integrated into archaeological interpretations of the Andean past Gose The Cusco Ceque System and the mountaintop shrine system were used as specific case studies to examine the different ways the Inca used materialized ideology in the form of huacas to build and expand their Empire.

This examination of huacas was an attempt to illustrate the role that ideology can play in the overall development of complex societies. Despite the limited ethnohistorical and archaeological data about huacas they are still an important line of evidence to further support ideological interpretations surrounding the Inca. From this perspective, ideology and its materialization ultimately helped to establish the Inca Empire and created a form of sacred politics with ideology as an underlying force for political and social control.

Aveni, A. Horizon Astronomy in Incaic Cuzco. In Archaeoastronomy in the Americas , ed. Williamson, California: Ballena Press. Bauer, Brian S. Latin American Antiquity. Legitimization of the State in Inca Myth and Ritual.

The sacred landscape of the Inca : the Cusco ceque system

American Anthropologist. Austin: University of Texas Press. Benson, Elizabeth P. Why Sacrifice? In Ritual Sacrifice in Ancient Peru , eds. Benson and Cook, Blom, Deborah E. Making Place: Humans as Dedications at Tiwanaku. World Archaeology.

The sacred landscape of the Inca : the Cusco ceque system (Book, ) [rekoworamo.ml]

Bradley, Richard. Ceruti, Constanza. Classen, Constance. Inca Cosmology and the Human Body. Conrad, Geoffrey W. American Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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The Incas. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Ideology, Materialization, and Power Strategies. Current Anthropology. Pillsbury, Washington: National Gallery of Art.

Inca Empire - Wikipedia audio article

Farrington, I. Friedrich, Paul. Language, Ideology, and Political Economy. Glowacki, Mary and Michael Malpass.


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    The Sacred Landscape of the Inca

    Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. Julien, Catherine. Kraft, Siv Ellen. MacCormack, Sabine. From the Dun of the Incas to the Virgin of Copacabana. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Morris, Craig and Adriana von Hagen. The Inca Empire and its Andean Origins. Moseley, Michael E. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. Niles, Susan A. Callachaca: Style and Status in an Inca Community.

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    Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.. Inca Architecture and the Sacred Landscape. Tow nsend, Simply link your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number to your Booktopia account and earn points on eligible orders. Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Bauer not only provides a grand synthesis of what is known about the ceque system, but also provides new description, fieldwork, and interpretation.

    The book will have a wide audience. The ceque system of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, was perhaps the most complex indigenous ritual system in the pre-Columbian Americas. From a center known as the Coricancha Golden Enclosure or the Temple of the Sun, a system of huacas shrines arranged along 42 ceques lines radiated out toward the mountains surrounding the city. This elaborate network, maintained by ayllus kin groups that made offerings to the shrines in their area, organized the city both temporally and spiritually.

    From to , Brian Bauer directed a major project to document the ceque system of Cusco. In this book, he synthesizes extensive archaeological survey work with archival research into the Inca social groups of the Cusco region, their land holdings, and the positions of the shrines to offer a comprehensive, empirical description of the ceque system. Moving well beyond previous interpretations, Bauer constructs a convincing model of the system's physical form and its relation to the social, political, and territorial organization of Cusco.

    A major contribution to Andean studies Help Centre. The ceque system of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, was perhaps the most complex indigenous ritual system in the pre-Columbian Americas. From a center known as the Coricancha Golden Enclosure or the Temple of the Sun, a system of huacas shrines arranged along 42 ceques lines radiated out toward the mountains surrounding the city. This elaborate network, maintained by ayllus kin groups that made offerings to the shrines in their area, organized the city both temporally and spiritually.

    From to , Brian Bauer directed a major project to document the ceque system of Cusco.