Wankarani Settlement Systems in Evolutionary Perspective
||Tim McAndrews, Ph.D.
||University of Pittsburgh
McAndrews, Timothy L. Wankarani Settlement Systems in
Evolutionary Perspective: A Study in Early Village-Based Society and
Long-Term Cultural Evolution in the South-Central Andean Altiplano.
University of Pittsburgh memoirs in Latin American archaeology, no. 15.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Dept. of Anthropology, 2005.
In this book, Dr. Tim McAndrews presents the results of a regional
settlement study he conducted in the Bolivian Altiplano, a harsh high
altitude region in the south-central Andes.
He argues that the emergence of the first sedentary villages in the
area, the highly nucleated Wankarani villages, can be attributed to the
concentration of highly productive land for a mixed farming-herding economy,
defense, and labor pooling. Regional centralization and settlement hierarchy
were absent and there was little evidence of exotic imported goods, so these
common hallmarks of emergent complex socio-political organization were
lacking. Yet there is some indication of small-scale village specialization
and economic interdependence among Wankarani villages. Dr. McAndrews also
explores the subsequent cultural evolutionary trajectory of the region.
Instead of continuing to exist in the Wankarani mode (highly
nucleated agro-pastoral village settlements) or developing more complex
patterns of sociopolitical organization (as occurred in the Titicaca Basin
to the north), Wankarani village society was replaced by small, mobile
communities, more focused on herding, probably as an adaptation to drying
climatic conditions and the disappearance of riverine resources that were
likely quite important in Wankarani subsistence. Dr. McAndrews' full
regional settlement dataset is available online as a complement to this
. Complete text in English and Spanish.
From: Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology, No. 15, 2005
About the Author
Tim McAndrews earned a doctorate in anthropology from the
Pittsburgh in 1998.
He is currently a Professor of Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-La
Crosse where he offers courses on Andean archaeology, historical
archaeology, theory and history of archaeology, and human evolution. Dr.
McAndrews has conducted extensive archaeological research in the Bolivian
and Peruvian Andes in order to understand the organization and evolution of
social, economic, and political institutions. His research has focused on
the origins of the earliest sedentary villages and on the process of
urbanization and evolution of highly complex societies in the
and around the world. In particular, he is interested in the rise of the
complex society that built the impressive prehispanic urban settlement of
Tiwanaku on the southern shores of Lake Titicaca
in the Bolivia Altiplano. Dr. McAndrews has examined the nature of
Tiwanaku's political control within and beyond its Altiplano heartland
through research in
and Cochabamba, Bolivia, two of the distant regions
impacted by Tiwanaku socio-cultural and political influence. He is currently
engaged in a long-term research project in Cochabamba focusing on the process of
sedentism and the spread of Tiwanaku into that peripheral region.