The Tiahuanaco Ruins and the Early Modern Andean Creation of a Global Antiquity

Juan Carlos Mantilla (California State University)

Juan Carlos G. Mantilla is an assistant professor of World-Literature at California State University. He completed his Ph.D in Comparative Literature, Latin American, and Medieval and Renaissance Studies from Columbia University. He works on the art history and literature of the archaeological thought of the Americas with a focus on the Early Modern period.

This paper explores how different Early Modern scholars worked to decipher the materiality and reimagine the history of the pre-Columbian built landscape of Tiahuanaco. After the Spanish conquest of the Incas, there were many attempts to write the antiquities of this region following western antiquarian models. Yet, Tiahuanaco, an abandoned city of enormous dimensions in the arid high plateau of the Titicaca lake, posed question that seemed very difficult to answer. The indigenous Andean groups had different mythological narratives that depicted Tiahuanaco as the place where the sun was born, and the Titicaca the most distant edge of the world. It was a landscape of ruined edifices, that demanded new reconstructions of its ancient history.

Engraving of the Lake Titicaca in Pedro Cieza de León, Crónica del Peru, 1553, fol. CXXII verso. Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library, Americana Digital Collections.

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Haude Morvan (7 mai 2024). The Tiahuanaco Ruins and the Early Modern Andean Creation of a Global Antiquity. Dans l'œil des antiquaires. Consulté le 22 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

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