Production

One of the most successful Inka strategies for surplus extraction was the taxation of their subjects in the form of labor for a range of agricultural and craft production tasks. This service was known as the mit’a system. In the Oroncota complex, we found evidence for mit’a-type activities, although they were admittedly small. There were few signs of specialized craft production (weaving tools, metal working, and ceramic workshops). Nevertheless, there was a wider distribution of grinding stones to process food grains, perhaps for chicha corn beer. Considering the limited number of residences, this indicates the presence of temporary workers in the center, but residing elsewhere. As for the Cuzcotuyo stronghold, we found no evidence of agricultural or craft production. In fact, grinding stone implements were dispersed far away in the lower agricultural fields. This indicates that, unlike people in the military outpost, those on the lower western plains engaged in agrarian tasks at a limited scale. The lack of craft production and restricted agricultural production in Cuzcotuyo are features consistent with the military nature of this facility. In comparison with other Inka provincial centers, the scale of agricultural production in both Inka centers was relatively limited. This signals that the produce served to fulfill the state’s immediate needs.

 
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