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Hillforts of the Ancient AndesColla Warfare, Society, and Landscape$
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Elizabeth N. Arkush

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035260

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035260.001.0001

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Warfare and the Built Environment

Warfare and the Built Environment

(p.1) 1 Warfare and the Built Environment
Hillforts of the Ancient Andes

Elizabeth N. Arkush

University Press of Florida

This chapter is a study of a society at war. The Colla and their Titicaca basin neighbors are key subjects for understanding warfare and the political process in the Late Intermediate period. The density of hilltop forts in the northern Titicaca basin indicates frequent warfare even in the supposed heartland of Colla territory. The Colla fought over the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca, and then of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. Like any people at war, the Colla were not engaged in active conflict all the time. But frequent warfare (perhaps over limited natural resources), along with drought and environmental changes, powerfully influenced the society's settlement choices and physical defenses, as well as their interaction with the landscape. By focusing on the pre-Inca society in this key region of the Andes, this book demonstrates how a thorough archaeological investigation of these hillfort towns reveals new ways to study the sociopolitical organization of pre-Columbian societies.

Keywords:   Colla, Titicaca basin, warfare, hillfort, Inca society, pre-Columbian societies

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