A Multidisciplinary Review of the Inka Imperial Resettlement Policy and Implications for Future Investigations

Genes (Basel). 2021 Feb 2;12(2):215. doi: 10.3390/genes12020215.

Abstract

The rulers of the Inka empire conquered approximately 2 million km2 of the South American Andes in just under 100 years from 1438-1533 CE. Inside the empire, the elite conducted a systematic resettlement of the many Indigenous peoples in the Andes that had been rapidly colonised. The nature of this resettlement phenomenon is recorded within the Spanish colonial ethnohistorical record. Here we have broadly characterised the resettlement policy, despite the often incomplete and conflicting details in the descriptions. We then review research from multiple disciplines that investigate the empirical reality of the Inka resettlement policy, including stable isotope analysis, intentional cranial deformation morphology, ceramic artefact chemical analyses and genetics. Further, we discuss the benefits and limitations of each discipline for investigating the resettlement policy and emphasise their collective value in an interdisciplinary characterisation of the resettlement policy.

Keywords: Inka; ethnohistory; interdisciplinary; isotopes; paleogenetics; resettlement.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Archaeology / history*
  • Hispanic Americans / history*
  • History, 15th Century
  • Human Migration / history*
  • Humans
  • Policy
  • South America