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To the Edge of the Empire: The Dynamics of Inca Rule in the South Andes

Verónica I. Williams, Instituto de Arqueología, University of Buenos Aires, Fellow 2008–2009, Fall

Four months of intensive reading and writing at Dumbarton Oaks allowed me to complete a manuscript on the subject of the Inca domination of northwest Argentina and northern Chile, an area that constituted much of Qollasuyu, or the empire's southeastern quarter. This research was based on both historical sources and archaeological data, including new information from recent studies. Drawing upon the wealth of recent scholarship in the Inca heartland around the capital of Cuzco, as well as new research from the southern region, this manuscript is the first treatment of the southern Inca Empire in English.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library contains one of the most complete collections of historical sources on Pre-Columbian societies in the Americas, which were essential for the preparation of the present manuscript. Sad to say, none of the countries of the study area (Argentina, Bolivia and Chile) offers such a comprehensive collection, because their holdings traditionally reflect national interests. For example, while libraries in Argentina have many titles devoted to Inca history in northwestern Argentina, they lack recent treatments concerning other parts of the empire. Because of my experience and familiarity with Argentine research, I was able to focus on the Dumbarton Oaks holdings for reference to Bolivia, Chile, and the core region of the empire. The fall symposium, lectures and concerts enhanced my residency, as did the exchange of ideas among colleagues during my stay at Dumbarton Oaks.