Dr. Rankinís work in South America concerned the Inka policy of Mitmaq, which refers to communities of people who were moved around within the Inka empire by the state authorities to perform specific economic or administrative tasks. This policy was particularly important to the Inka state in the consolidation of newly conquered territories during the late 15th and early 16th centuries A. D. Her work combined an examination of Spanish documents from that time with the interpretation of recent archaeological work in several regions of Andean South America. She was able to show that the implementation of the Mitmaq policy varied significantly depending on the time, the place, and the particular administrative purpose involved. These variations had different kinds of consequences for those who were moved, as well as for the regions they were moved into and the regions they left behind.
Lisa Rankin at Ingapirca, Ecuador’s principal Inka
site, during her MA research in 1992.