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PCSNY March 11 Lecture-Darryl Wilkinson

March 11, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Lowland Empire: Rethinking the Inca Presence in Western Amazonia

Darryl Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of Religion, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

An Inca terrace at the royal estate of Choquequirao, Apurímac Valley, Peru.

Abstract. We typically imagine the Incas as a highland people—which is accurate, for the most part. But they also expanded their domain into various lowland regions, including westernmost Amazonia, an ecological context radically different from their traditional heartlands in the high Andes. The Inca presence in Amazonia remains one of the least understood aspects of their history and is also a topic beset by many myths and misapprehensions. In this talk, I aim to provide an up-to-date overview of the imperial expansions into the eastern forests. What exactly drew the Incas into Amazonia in the first place? How much did they already know about Amazonia prior to their arrival in the region? What sort of interactions did they have with the lowland communities they encountered? My answers to these questions will draw upon my own archaeological field research in the province of La Convención, Peru, as well as that of several colleagues, whose recent efforts have done much to expand our understanding of this under-studied region. Rather than a peripheral zone of highland empires, I will discuss the various ways in which western Amazonia played a vital role in Andean prehistory.

Speaker Biography. Darryl Wilkinson received his BA in archaeology and anthropology from Oxford University, after which he began his graduate studies at Columbia University, where he completed his PhD in 2013. Wilkinson has since held postdoctoral fellowships at Cambridge University, Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his field research has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust and the National Science Foundation. In 2020 he took up an appointment as assistant professor in the Religion Department at Dartmouth College.

Monday March 11, 2024

6:00 pm EST


Institute of Fine Arts-NYU





March 11, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Pre-Columbian Society of New York


Institute of Fine Arts–NYU
1 E. 78th Street
New York, United States
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