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The Tiwanaku polity dominated the south central Andes between ca. AD 400-1000 (Kolata 1987). After coexisting in the Formative Period with the Pukara (Mujica 1985, 1988), the Sillumoco (Stanish 1994), and the Chiripa polities (Bermann 1990; Ponce Sanginés 1970), the population settling the Tiwanaku core area came to dominate the region as the capital of the most important polity by A.D. 400.
The capital site of Tiwanaku is located on the south shores of Lake Titicaca in present day Bolivia. The site is about 60 km west of Peru, with whom Bolivia shares the lake. Tiwanaku covered at its height -ca. A.D. 750- 400 ha., with extensive monumental architecture (Bennett 1936; Ponce 1972, 1989) and a residential population of 20-40,000. The site had extensive monumental stone architecture for ceremonial buildings (Alconini 1993; Kolata 1982, 1993a; Ponce Sanginés 1972) and distinctive iconographic styles in stone and ceramic art (Cook 1994; Isbell 1983). The ceremonial core of Tiwanaku is surrounded by dwelling and workshop areas. biblio .
What is happening in other regions of the world while Tiwanaku develops in the Andes? Consider this chart. Tiwanaku spans from A.D. 400 to 1000, while another polity, Wari, develops at the same time further north in the Central Andes.
Tiwanaku and Bolivian politics: The study of Tiwanaku in Bolivia -and in Bolivian prehistory- has focused largely on the site of Tiwanaku. Most studies of Tiwanaku in its peripheral region of the south central Andes have been conducted in Chile and Peru. Five decades ago, Ibarra Grasso (1944) called for developing research --with no avail-- to advance knowledge of cultural developments earlier and later than Tiwanaku in other regions of Bolivia (lbarra Grasso 1965). More recently, Condori (1989) has criticized how the Tiwanaku-centered, politicized, archaeology has restricted other interpretations and perspectives on the Bolivian past.
Survey of the Tiwanaku Valley has revealed a four-tier settlement hierarchy, pattern indicative of state-level organization (Albarracin-Jordan and Mathews 1990; McAndrews et al. 1997). The Tiwanaku site was surrounded by a set of secondary sites (e.g., Lukurmata, Pajchiri, Khonko, Wankani), themselves surrounded by extensive agricultural fields. Each of these sites contain lesser amounts of Tiwanaku-style public architecture, including semi-subterranean temples (Spickard 1985; Bermann 1990; Goldstein 1993; Stanish 1994b). biblio. But this spatial pattern will change in the last 200 years of Tiwanaku development: a drastic increase in small rural sites during the Tiwanaku V period (ca. A.D. 800, see below ), after a period clearly dominated by the secondary centers.
It has been suggested that the core of the Tiwanaku polity collapsed around A.D. 1000 in the aftermath of severe droughts that disrupted agricultural production (tubers) in the center's hinterland raised-fields (Ortloff and Kolata 1993). After the collapse of the Tiwanaku center (evidenced by abandonment of buildings and of large parts of raised-fields tracts), spatial patterns in the region (in the post A.D. 1000 period) will be dominated by small hamlets , whose population will continue to work the raised fields, although at a smaller scale (Graffam 1992).
Pottery and other objects in the distinctive Tiwanaku-style are widely distributed throughout the south central Andes, from the southern coastal valleys of Peru and Chile to the lowland eastern slopes of the Andes. The distribution of Tiwanaku-style artifacts exhibits a great deal of variation, with different types and quantities of Tiwanaku-style materials occurring in different regions. The mechanisms that lead to this distribution of Tiwanaku-style artifacts, and the wide regional variation, has long been the subject of intense debate (Serracino 1980; Browman 1980; Muñoz 1983; Oakland 1985; Bermann 1990; Stanish 1992).
Four explanations have been proposed to account for the distribution of Tiwanaku-style materials in the south central Andes:
(1) The distribution of artifacts is a result of Tiwanaku imperial expansion outside the Titicaca Basin with colonies and conquest aimed at lowland resource extraction (Ponce 1972; Moseley et al. 1991; Cespedes 1992, pers.comm.);
(2) It results of the growth of an archipelago system where discontinuous territorial niches were exploited through placed colonies (Mujica 1985; Kolata 1987; Berenguer and Dauelsberg 1989; Goldstein 1989, 1990).
(3) Tiwanaku-style materials spreaded spatially through trading networks headed by the Tiwanaku polity (Nuñez and Dillehay 1979; Browman 1980, 1984; Lynch 1983, 1988); and,
(4) Tiwanaku expansion as purely ideological and/or ritual in nature devoided of political control or colonization (Browman 1978; Wallace 1989; Kolata 1992).
Finally, a last option is that Tiwanaku expansion occurs as a combination of the aforementioned mechanisms, used by Tiwanaku populations in distinct regions in coetaneous fashion -depending on local conditions- or in sequence, as Tiwanaku's interaction in a given region develops (Mujica et al. 1983; Berenguer 1978; Berenguer and Dauelsberg 1989; Browman 1985; Nuñez and Dillehay 1979).
Variation in the political economy strategies of the Tiwanaku polity in the south central Andes is a fact supported by the differences in the distribution patterns of the material evidence (Mujica et al. 1983) and in land use patterns (Higueras 1996). This variation in political strategies fits in a definition of imperial structure. However, the political character and power of the Tiwanaku core site, whose main function has been named ceremonial with an Andean dual character (Kolata 1993a), is challenged by interpretations that see the Tiwanaku polity as a federation of smaller polities, ayllus (Browman 1984b; Albarracin 1992). In this latter case, the differences in regional strategies could be the result of ayllu-level decisions (of those ayllus whose center is in the Tiwanaku Valle surrounding the ceremonial site) and not of centralized decisions from the core site.
Tiwanaku studies have made important advances in the last decade. Systematic surveys have been conducted in the Tiwanaku Valley (Albarracin 1992; Albarracin and Mathews 1991; Mathews 1992), in other regions of the south central Andes (Bermann and Esteves 1993; Higueras 1996; Owen 1994; Stanish 1994b), and several other surveys are underway. Advances have been made in the study of secondary and lesser sites in Tiwanaku's immediate hinterland (Bermann 1993, 1994), and in regions in the periphery (Bawden 1989, 1990; Goldstein 1989, 1990, 1993; Tarrago 1992), in the excavation of residential, monumental and workshop sectors in the capital (Alconini 1993; Janusek 1994; Manzanilla et al. 1990, Rivera 1994), in the investigation of agricultural infrastructure in the hinterland areas (Kolata 1985, 1986, 1991; Seddon 1994); and in the analysis of Tiwanaku's collapse in its core area and peripheries (Bermann et al. 1989; Graffam 1992; Ortloff and Kolata 1993; Owen 1994).
Chronology: Tiwanaku's 600-year span is divided in two main ceramic phases: Tiwanaku IV and V. (A five-fold Tiwanaku ceramic chronological sequence proposed by Ponce Sanginés [1972; 1978] lacks convincing evidence for the first three phases). Bennett's 1934 original division -Classic, Decadent, and Derived- corresponds to Tiwanaku IV and V periods, and to the Tiwanaku style pottery of Cochabamba (Bennett 1936), respectively. Most research has used of the original Bennett-Ponce sequence differentiating a 'classical' and a 'decadent' pottery (or local vs. expansive, Kolata,1993a).
Janusek and Alconini's (1994) revised sequence, based on the evolution of pottery forms and iconography for periods IV and V from non-monumental contexts of the core site, suggest a spatial, and not a temporal, differentiation in the distribution of the two "period" styles. The fine pottery common at Akapana (Alconini 1993) and Putuni (Janusek 1994), the most important monumental buildings at the site, are rarely found in any other area of the site or the valley (Albarracin 1992; Janusek 1994; Mathews 1992). The two pottery "periods" therefore may not be only consecutive in time, but rather contemporaneous, representing elite or ritual setting, and rural and lower class settings, respectively . Vetters (1993) analyzed a collection of Tiwanaku pottery assuming no period divisions; her final results do not suggest a segregation of periods by iconographic or morphological features (cf. Wallace, 1989).
Tiwanaku style pottery in non-core regions develop particular features. Bennett identified the Tiwanaku of Cochabamba as a "derived" style, where highland pottery is scarce. However, the Cochabamba Derived Tiwanaku style is distinguished from highland Tiwanaku style pottery only by subtle differences in form and decoration (Alconini 1993; Janusek 1994; Rivera 1994): iconography in the Derived Tiwanaku style pottery is thus simplified, with very rare complete human or animal motifs, and rather an emphasis on stylized heads (Rydén 1959:figure 48). The location of decoration on the keru is the upper portion of the vessel. The lower area is not decorated, in contrast to altiplano material. The color spectrum of this pottery differs from altiplano pottery in having a predominance of orange-reddish slips, and darker purple-brown as a painting color. A fugitive white paint is used for lines, outlines and solid geometric figures. The most common shapes are the keru, seen also in previous Tupuraya style, the puku, and a small globular bowl with two vertical or horizontal handles. Kerus have several bulging rings along the vessel walls. In addition, a major diagnostic form of the Cochabamba Tiwanaku style is the chayador, the narrow-base keru, that also occurs in Omereque style. This shape is a good marker for Derived Tiwanaku style materials in the heartland.
In Cochabamba no functional or temporal division of "Classic" and "Decadent" styles is apparent. A rapid increase in use of Derived Tiwanaku style materials followed to the several local Cochabamba styles (e.g., Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Parroquia; lbarra Grasso 1965). In contrast, highland Tiwanaku IV and V pottery is more abundant in Moquegua (Goldstein 1989), where there are also, however, specific stylistic trademarks. In contrast to pottery -which was not a major item in the trade routes- Oakland (1985) suggests that the homogeneous Tiwanaku style textile technique and iconography in these regions suggests a single distribution center for textiles (at Tiwanaku site, although little evidence for textile workshops has been found).
Petrographic analysis of clays in Tiwanaku pots from different regions? Such analysis has found that Cochabamba redware pottery is identical to highland redware, as they both contain similar amounts of hornblende. Oruro, Azapa, and Moquegua redware pottery have also the same composition as Tiwanaku site pottery-whereas Blackware in the latter two regions has local composition. However, geological structure in the highlands and Cochabamba is similar -mostly igneous materials-, therefore it is not surprising that pottery clays reflect similar compositions. In any case, the size of the sample studied, and these geological similarities, put doubts on suggestions of a pattern of Tiwanaku pottery exports to Cochabamba and other regions (Barnett 1992).
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