Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert H. Tykot


Huancabamba, Inca, Late Horizon, Pottery production, Trace-element analysis


Elemental analysis of pottery sherds provided insights on the ceramic production in the Huancabamba Valley (northern highland-Peru) and the way in which the Incas administrate the provinces. The pottery sherds from six archaeological sites selected for elemental analysis indicated the use of similar clay sources in the manufacture of pottery. The production of ceramic vessels took place at the local level without the strict control of the Inca state. The Incas built administrative structures in the Huancabamba Valley in order to maintain control of their road system, which connected the north area of Peru to Ecuador. The ceramic assemblage recovered from Inca sites does not illustrate typical Inca pottery style or decoration from the heartland. The administrative centers built by the Incas throughout the Empire provided the means to support state activities such as pottery production of local wares. In addition, ethno-historic evidence suggests that during the Inca period coastal communities were relocated to highland settlements in order to serve as officers in state facilities, or to maintain the Inca road system. These coastal communities continue producing pottery following the traditional techniques from their homeland.