Dados do autor
NomeChristiane Clados
E-mail do autorEmail escondido; Javascript é necessário.
Sua instituiçãoPhilipps University Marburg
Sua titulaçãoPost-Doctor
País de origem do autorAlemanha
Dados co-autor(es) [Máximo de 2 co-autores]
Proposta de Paper
Área Temática01. Antropologia
Grupo TemáticoBeyond writing and iconography: coding
TítuloTiwanaku graphic communication: Encoding objects related to cultural and social practices

Since Arthur Posnansky's (1945, 1952) work on the Tiwanaku graphic communication system (Tiwanaku GCS) (ca. AD 600-1000), researchers have examined theories about writing or iconography with varying degrees of success. It is becoming more and more clear that the Tiwanaku GCS cannot be sufficiently summarized within these traditional modes. Its analysis needs to be based on a semasiographic principle (Jackson 2013; Mikulska 2015) in order to understand it integrally. Previous analysis of composite figures, scenic elements, genres of action, and narratives often overlook small-scale graphs with communicative potential whose semantic nature has not yet been considered. These graphs do not only form sequences of ‘regularized signs', but also are present within the scenes as part of full-figures characters. What meaning did they convey? This paper highlights some of the communicative potential of Tiwanaku graphs that may relate to later Inca Tocapus. I argue that these Tocapu-like graphs can be approached as a system within the system, integrated into the multi-figured scenes, but understood apart from them at the same time. Preliminary analysis indicates they might be separable from the figures and thereby form their own system of meaning. A related premise is that Tiwanaku Tocapu-like graphs, as with khipus (Salomon 2004: 28), take shape around the social problems they solve. Preliminary analysis shows that they are also found on monumental sculptures and reliefs, but are present in far greater numbers on the surface of small objects such as ceramics (Villanueva, Korpisaari 2013) and textiles. Were Tiwanaku Tocapu-like graphs used to encode objects related to rituals and household? An analysis combining archaeological evidence and the structure of the signs, their syntax within scenes, and their recursive sequences allows a more integrated characterization of Tiwanaku graphs.

  • Tiwanaku
  • graphic communication system
  • cultural and social practices
  • graphic pluralism
  • Central Andes