In this compilation of essays, Prudence M. Rice takes a political ecology approach to successive waves of colonization by the Wari, Tiwanaku, Inca, and Spanish in the southern Peruvian Moquegua Valley. She hypothesizes that each invasion respatialized the landscape to serve the colonizer’s own ends. Thus, the region’s history becomes the story of asymmetrical relations, identity negotiation, and contestation.

The strong points of her discussion include chapter 3, where she defines the pre-Hispanic periodization that is familiar to archaeologists, but less recognizable to colonial historians. She details how the Wari and Tiwanaku sent colonies to cultivate crops that would not yield in the mountains. The Incas, subsequently, used a tribute population to extract resources, moving hilltop settlements to bottomlands and redefining, rebounding, renaming, and restructuring space. The focus on toponyms in chapter 5 includes a discussion of how names encapsulate memories and...

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