728 - Towards a re-conceptualization of "the sacred" in the Andes during the Tawantinsuyu: archaeological and ethnohistorical approaches

17.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Moscovich, Viviana (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem , Jerusalem, Israel / Israel)
Convener 2: Astuhuaman, Cesar (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru / Peru)

“The sacred” has been traditionally defined in Western perspective on religion as “opposite to the profane” and “consecrated to a divinity.” Hence religion is assumed as experienced basically in spatial and ritual terms and not in its social and economic dimensions that could generate a more complex concept of ”the sacred”, according to Postprocessual criticism. Religious dimensions interact with socio-political ones and intersect other dimensions of life. For instance, the ceque system organized sacred landscape and regulated social and economic life in Cusco and Inca provinces. Religions are organized around elements believed to be “sacred.” Many aspects of life and material culture can be structured by religion and be either archaeologically recognizable or recorded on ethnohistorical sources. The aim of the Symposium is to explore those different aspects of ”the sacred” that produced a total social fact during the Tawantinsuyu (ca. 1400-1532 d.C.), i.e. social phenomena involving different dimensions of social life and causing a general mobilization in Inca society and its institutions. Themes such as human sacrifices, solar cult, oracles, ancestor cults, Inca pantheon, sacred landscapes, ceque system, sacred state buildings, and other related topics will be analyzed and discussed trying to elaborate a re-conceptualization of “the sacred” in the Andes. This Symposium endeavours, in a broad perspective, to analyze how expansive states take over and control diverse regions, thus becoming empires. It explores the complex relationships between ancient empires and ethnic groups, how imperial strategies were shaped by religious ideologies, the potential influence of those parts of the Andean landscape conceptualized as sacred and the role of State institutions in the administration of the regions of the Tawantinsuyu.

Keywords: Tawantinsuyu; Religion; Archaeology; Ethnohistory; Inca Empire

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