This article analyzes the objectives and implications of the long-distance transport of building blocks in the Inca Empire. Recent research has demonstrated that the Incas transported building stones from Cuzco, Peru, to Saraguro, Ecuador, much as described by the Spanish chronicler Martín de Murúa. Additional passages from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century chronicles suggest that the Incas carried out a number of such projects to bring stones from Cuzco to the northern part of the empire. These stones embodied the transfer of sanctity and power from the imperial capital to the city of Tomebamba in Ecuador, while their movement was a major public demonstration of state control over labor.
Skip Nav Destination
Dennis Ogburn; Power in Stone: The Long-Distance Movement of Building Blocks in the Inca Empire. Ethnohistory 1 January 2004; 51 (1): 101–135. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-51-1-101
Download citation file: