Ritual practices and their associated material paraphernalia played a key role in extending the reach and ideological impact of early states. The discovery of a leather bag containing snuffing tablets and traces of psychoactive substances at Cueva del Chileno in the southern Andes testifies to the adoption of Tiwanaku practices by emergent local elites. Tiwanaku control spread over the whole of the south-central Andes during the Middle Horizon (AD 500-1100) but by the end of the period it had begun to fragment into a series of smaller polities. The bag had been buried by an emergent local elite who chose at this time to relinquish the former Tiwanaku ritual practices that its contents represent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)