The Absence of Inka Pottery
We did not find decorated Inka Cuzco or Pacajes Inka pottery anywhere in Cuzcotuyo. This absence indicates that imported Inka Cuzco ceramics had no significant use in this frontier installation. If those were part of the
Figure 7.16. Distribution of serving vessels in the excavations of the Cuzcotuyo complex.
Figure 7.17. Distribution of ceramic styles found in the Cuzcotuyo complex.
trade goods moving across this frontier segment, they were rapidly dispatched somewhere else. Distance alone cannot account for this absence. Other sites on the borderlands like Samaipata in Bolivia (Meyers 2007; Meyers and Ulbert 1998; Parssinen and Siiriainen 1998) or in the northern Caranqui province in today’s Ecuador (Bray 1991, 1992) consistently yielded Inka imperial ceramics. Their absence in Cuzcotuyo highlights the fact that Inka imperial pottery was not pivotal in the military and diplomatic activities conducted at the site, and that neither was it used as marker of status by the site’s residents. Either these goods were too valuable to be used in this military facility or the state allies decided to keep them in their permanent residences farther away.