R. Alan Covey
6047 Silsby Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
r.alan.covey at dartmouth.edu
At times, ancient and early modern empires wielded sufficient power to reshape social organization and landscape across vast regions, transforming local societies, building global connections, and setting in motion the international relations, entanglements, and inequalities of our world today. As an anthropological archaeologist and ethnohistorian I am drawn to the enduring questions surrounding empires: why did large expansion-driven states develop, and how did they achieve rapid territorial conquest of extensive and diverse regions? How did imperial rule alter local life for the millions of farmers, herders, and artisans making up the bulk of the populace? What happened when these superpowers inevitably failed?
My interest in ancient states and empires developed through undergraduate studies in Roman and Maya archaeology, but my graduate work brought me to the Andean highlands, where I have conducted research since 1996. I have focused primarily on the Inca empire, working in the region surrounding Cuzco, the Inca capital. The Cuzco region offers an unusual opportunity for studying imperial dynamics, as it was transformed by the Incas in their century of regional dominance (~1400-1530s), and then undone by the early modern Spanish empire within a few decades following the arrival of the first Europeans. With my colleagues, I have completed several archaeological surveys in the Cuzco region, developing a systematic inventory of more than 3000 archaeological sites that makes it possible to reconstruct important aspects of pre-Inca and Inca settlement and regional organization. The new archaeological data can be studied independently alongside a large body of published chronicles on the Incas and early Colonial Peru, and I have also conducted new studies of unpublished documents housed in archives in Cuzco, Lima, London, and Seville.
In addition to my work in the Cuzco region, I have collaborated with distinguished colleagues in archaeological research in a number of Inca provincial regions, including the Titicaca Basin, the desert valleys of southern Peru, and the central highlands. An ongoing collaboration with Dr. Craig Morris (deceased) of the American Museum of Natural History involves the analysis of excavation data from Huánuco Pampa, a highland Inca administrative center. These provincial studies help to reveal the diversity of administrative strategies developed by the Incas to rule over the peoples of the Andes, and they also offer important contrasts for considering the organization of the Inca imperial heartland.
- 2011 The Huánuco Pampa Archaeological Project: Volume I: The Central Plaza and Palace Complex. (Craig Morris, R. Alan Covey, and Pat Stein). New York: Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History. In press.
- 2008 Imperial Transformations in Sixteenth-Century Yucay, Peru. (transcribed and edited by R. Alan Covey and Donato Amado González). Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, 44. Ann Arbor.
- 2006 How the Incas Built Their Heartland: State Formation and the Innovation of Imperial Strategies in the Sacred Valley, Peru. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- 2006 Intermediate Elites in Pre-Columbian States and Empires. (Christina M. Elson and R. Alan Covey, eds.) Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- 2011 Dynamics of Indigenous Demographic Fluctuations: Lessons from Sixteenth-Century Cusco, Peru. (R. Alan Covey, Geoff Childs, and Rebecca Kippen). Current Anthropology 52(3):335-360.
- 2011 Landscapes and Languages of Power in the Inca Imperial Heartland (Cuzco, Peru). SAA Archaeological Record (September 2011). In press.
- 2010 Local Settlement Continuity and Wari Impact in Middle Horizon Cusco. (Véronique Bélisle and R. Alan Covey). In Justin Jennings (ed.), Beyond Wari Walls: Exploring the Nature of Middle Horizon Peru away from Wari Centers, pp. 78-95. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
- 2009 Domestic Life and Craft Specialization in Inka Cusco and Its Rural Hinterland. In Linda R. Manzanilla and Claude Chapdelaine (eds.), Domestic Life in Prehispanic Capitals: A Study of Specialization, Hierarchy, and Ethnicity, pp. 223-234. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology.
- 2009 Inka Agricultural Intensification in the Imperial Heartland and Provinces. In Joyce Marcus and Patrick Ryan Williams (eds.), Andean Civilization: A Tribute to Michael E. Moseley, pp. 361-373. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.
- 2008 Multiregional Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Andes during the Late Intermediate Period (ca. AD 1000-1400). Journal of Archaeological Research 16(3):287-338.
- 2008 The Inca Empire. In Helaine Silverman and William H. Isbell (eds.), The Handbook of South American Archaeology, pp. 809-830. New York: Springer.
- 2007 Ethnicity, Demography, and Estate Management in Sixteenth-Century Yucay (Cusco, Peru). (R. Alan Covey and Christina M. Elson). Ethnohistory 54(2):303-335.
- 2007 Inca Ethnohistory. In Pearsall, Deborah (ed.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology, vol 1, pp. 398-407. Oxford: Elsevier.
- 2007 Civilization and Urbanism, Rise of. (Deborah L. Nichols, R. Alan Covey, and Kamyar Abdi). In Pearsall, Deborah (ed.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology, vol. 2, pp. 1003-1015. Oxford: Elsevier.
- 2007 Political Complexity, Rise of. In Pearsall, Deborah (ed.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology, vol. 3, pp. 1842-1853. Oxford: Elsevier.
- 2007 The Incas. In Archaeologica: The World’s Most Significant Sites and Cultural Treasures, pp. 324-335. Sydney: Global Book Publishing.
- 2006 Chronology, Succession, and Sovereignty: The Politics of Inka Historiography and Its Modern Interpretation. Comparative Studies in Society and History 48(1):166-199.
- 2004 Excavations at Inca Sites on the Island of the Sun. (Brian S. Bauer, Mary Futrell, Lisa Cipolla, R. Alan Covey, and Joshua Terry). In Charles Stanish and Brian S. Bauer (eds.), Archaeological Research on the Islands of the Sun and Moon, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia: Final Results from the Proyecto Tiksi Kjarka, pp. 43-82. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, Monograph 52. Los Angeles.
- 2004 Excavations at the Site of Iñak Uyu, Island of the Moon. (Brian S. Bauer, R. Alan Covey, and Joshua Terry). In Charles Stanish and Brian S. Bauer (eds.), Archaeological Research on the Islands of the Sun and Moon, Lake Titicaca, Bolivia: Final Results from the Proyecto Tiksi Kjarka, pp. 139-174. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, Monograph 52. Los Angeles.
- 2003 A Processual Study of Inka State Formation. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 22(4):333-357.
- 2003 La plaza central de Huánuco Pampa: espacio y transformación. (Craig Morris and R. Alan Covey). Boletín de Arqueología PUCP 7: Identidad y transformación en el Tawantinsuyu y en los Andes Coloniales. Perspectivas arqueológicas y etnohistóricas, segunda parte, 133-149.
- 2002 Processes of State Formation in the Inca Heartland (Cuzco, Peru). (Brian S. Bauer and R. Alan Covey) American Anthropologist 104(3):846-864.
- 2002 Mediation, Resistance, and Identity in Colonial Cuzco. A Review Essay. Comparative Studies in Society and History 44(2):395-401.
- 2000 Inka Administration of the Far South Coast of Peru. Latin American Antiquity 11(2):119-138.