Unlike most of its contemporary cities in the Western world, Cuzco, the capital of Tawantinsuyu (the Inca Empire), was carefully designed as the seat of the government and residence for the Inca elite. From ca. 1438, when Inca Pachacutec began planning the city, to 1533, when the first Spaniards visited the area, the site was transformed into a grid city featuring plazas, palaces, temples, and over 4,000 residential units. While the city's scale and design, as well as the quality of its constructions, astonished its conquerors, by the 1590s Cuzco had been stripped and remodeled into a Spanish city to accommodate the spatial needs of its new inhabitants. Only a number of walls survived, making the reconstruction of its original physiognomy virtually impossible. Despite its archaeological relevance, research on Inca Cuzco has been customarily embedded in academic texts, such as Graziano Gasparini...

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