Sociedades heterárquicas en el Ecuador preincaico: Estudio diacrónico de la organización política caranqui

María Fernanda Ugalde, Cristóbal Landázuri Narváez

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

2 Citas (Scopus)


The Caranqui cultural area, located in the Northern Highlands of Ecuador, comprises a homogeneous whole in terms of material culture, mainly characterized by monumental complexes formed by mounds (referred to as tolas in the local terminology), which tends to have the shape of a truncated pyramid, occasionally accompanied by huge access ramps. The material culture associated with these monuments, in particular ceramics, is also fairly homogeneous and has two type forms, a large amphora and an asymmetric tripod pot. This cultural complex is present from late pre-Inca times and is dated approximately between 1250 and 1525 A.D. There have been several attempts to understand the political organization of these societies through hierarchical models such as Central Place Theory, seeking a capital city that had exercised power and control over other sites. Ethno-historical sources do not support such a hypothesis, and rather, they seem to favor a series of related but independent chiefdoms or manors. In this article we propose a different view of Caranqui’s political organization, through a heterarchy model, postulating that the sites with mounds were not political but rather religious power centers. We support this idea through a diachronic study combining archaeological and ethnohistorical sources.

Título traducido de la contribuciónHeterarchical societies in pre-inca ecuador: A diachronic study of caranqui political organization
Idioma originalEspañol
Páginas (desde-hasta)197-218
Número de páginas22
PublicaciónRevista Espanola de Antropologia Americana
EstadoPublicada - 2016

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© 2016, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. All rights reserved.

Palabras clave

  • Caranqui
  • Ecuador
  • Heterarchy
  • Political organization
  • Social complexity

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