Ceramic production in the Cuzco region during the emergence and expansion of the Inka Empire
“A large, systematic study
of Classic Inca ceramics from Cuzco is an important project that remains to be
done” (Bauer 1999, 10). This initial response to Brian Bauer’s challenge is researching changes
in ceramic production in the Cuzco region during the emergence and expansion of
the Inka Empire.
Excavations in the region surrounding Cuzco have revealed a high degree
of variability in the fabric, form and decoration of Inka and immediately
pre-Inka pottery (Rowe 1944, Lunt 1987, Bauer 1999). By reviewing ceramics
excavated sites in the Cuzco region developments in Inka
pottery production and consumption will be analysed. This is partly based on pottery
previously studied in relation to work of the Cusichaca and Raqchi Projects,
and is also reviewing the under-studied assemblages from previously excavated
sites around Sacsayhuaman, as well as material held in the Museo Inka of the
University San Antonio Abad del Cuzco.
This research project aims to:
- Develop a detailed description of key Inka pottery fabrics using ceramic petrography, with the aim of facilitating their identification from hand held specimens and where possible tracing the source of raw materials used in their production.
- Study and document the range of techniques used in Inka pottery forming, decoration and firing and the range of forms and decorative styles produced.
- Characterise assemblages of pottery from previously excavated sites in order to quantify the range of forms in use at these sites.
- Ixer R. S. Lunt and B. Sillar Forthcoming ‘Defining a classic Inca pottery fabric from Cuzco: State control over pottery production and stone working’ for the European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics 2009.