Institute of Archaeology



The Inca monumental complex and community living in Raqchi have been a focus of research by Bill Sillar since he first visited the community in 1987 to initiate his research on present day pottery production.

The Inca constructed a major ritual centre dedicated to their creator god, Viracocha at Raqchi (which they called Cacha), and in 1998 Bill initiated the Raqchi Project to undertake a survey of the archaeological remains with targeted excavation (initially funded through a Leverhulme Trust Special Research Fellowship 1998-2000).

To date most of Bill's publications from this project have focused on how the Inca Empire engaged with the local Canas ethnic group, deliberately incorporating their sacred sites within the empire's own religious activities and forthcoming publications discuss the construction of the Inca temple.

Excavations within an area of 152 circular structures, long regarded as Inca storehouses, demonstrated that these structures were in fact part of a much earlier Wari presence (c. AD 600-900) and an article to be submitted to Latin American Antiquity assesses the significance of this to the known extent of the Wari Empire and why it too focused on the site of Raqchi.

Related outputs

  • Sillar B. 2010 'Intentionality matters: Creativity and interpretation in the development of the Inka State' in: A. Gardner and E. Cochrane (eds.) Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies. Walton Creek: Left Coast Press
  • Sillar B. 2009 'The Social Agency of Things? Animism and Materiality in the Andes' Cambridge Archaeological Journal 19 (3), 367-377
  • Sillar B. and E. Dean 2004 'Identidad étnica bajo el dominio Inka: una evaluación arqueológica y etnohistórica de las repercusiones del estado Inka en el grupo étnico Canas.' Boletin de Arqueologia Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru 6: 205-264 (To be published in English in G. Urton and P. Kaulicke (eds.) Ethnicity and Personhood in the Inka Empire)
  • Sillar B. 2004 'Acts of god and active material culture: agency and commitment in the Andes' in. A. Gardner (ed.) Agency and Archaeology. UCL Press 153-209
  • Sillar B. 2002 'Caminando a través del tiempo: geografías sagradas en Cacha/Raqchi, departamento del Cuzco (Perú)' Revista Andina 35: 221-246
  • Sillar B. 2000 Shaping Culture; Making Pots and Constructing Households: An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Pottery Production, Trade and Use in the Andes BAR International Series
  • Sillar B. 1997 'Reputable pots and disreputable potters: individual and community choice in present-day pottery production and exchange in the Andes' in C. Cumberpatch and P. Blinkhorn (eds.) Not So Much a Pot as a Way of Life Oxbow Monograph, Oxford. 1-20.


  • Leverhulme Trust (1998-2000)