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The Agricultural Foundations of the Tiwanaku State: A View from the Heartland

  • Alan L. Kolata (a1)

In this essay I explore the nature, role, and significance of intensive agriculture in the ancient state of Tiwanaku, which was centered in the high plateau of southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. Significant primary evidence that the state of Tiwanaku systematically reclaimed immense tracts of now abandoned agricultural land around the borders of Lake Titicaca is adduced and evaluated.

I conclude that Tiwanaku was a dynamic, expansive state based squarely on an effective, surplus-producing system of intensive agriculture, that the intensification agricultural production through large scale reclamation of flat, seasonally inundated land along the margins of Lake Titicaca was a prime economic strategy of the Tiwanaku state, and that this strategy was devised and managed by a hierarchically organized, central government.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

William M. Dene van 1970 Aboriginal Drained-Field Cultivation in the Americas. Science 169 : 647654.

R. Hill 1959 Inflow of Lake Titicaca. Journal of Geophysical Research 64 : 789794.

William H. Isbell , and J. Schreiber Katharina 1978 Was Huari a State? American Antiquity 43 : 372389.

C. T. Smith , M. Denevan William , and P. Hamilton 1968 Ancient Ridged Fields in the Region of Lake Titicaca. Geographical Review 134 : 353367.

Henry T. Wright , and Gregory Johnson 1975 Population, Exchange and Early State Formation in Southwestern Iran. American Anthropologist 77 : 267289.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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