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Community Networks at the Edge of Ancient Andean States: a view from the Tiwanaku frontier, Locumba, Peru (ca. AD 500-1100)

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This dissertation develops a community ecology framework, which utilizes methods developed through network-analysis and the broader study of complex adaptive systems. Unlike most models of state growth that have tended to support either top-down, macroscale explanations, or bottom-up or more microscale-focused perspectives to connect between state and individual, my approach privileges the mesoscale, considering the community as the pivotal middle ground. I focus on Tiwanaku, one of the first state-level societies to expand in the Middle Horizon of the Central Andes, (ca. AD 600-1100), using results from several seasons of archaeological research at the Tiwanaku occupation of the Cerro San Antonio (L1) site, in the middle Locumba Valley on the far south coast of Peru. This work included survey and mapping, systematic surface collection, and extensive household archaeology excavations and material analysis. Using the community ecology framework, I synthesize these data to reconstruct the culture history of the site, understand the daily lives of Cerro San Antonio’s Tiwanaku residents, and delineate the role this node played in Tiwanaku’s dynamic multimodal community network on its western frontier. In doing so I shed light on the nature of Tiwanaku statecraft and contribute to the anthropological understanding of how individuals, communities, and institutions operated within nascent states of the past.

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This item is under embargo until September 9, 2024.