Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Tamara L. Bray


This thesis examines fragmented ground stone food processing tools referred to as, manos and metates, that were found at the palatial late imperial Inca site of Caranqui located in the highlands of northern Ecuador. This region represents the northern frontier of the Inca Empire and was the last region to come under control of the Inca just prior to Spanish invasion. Manos and metates were integral to the production of chicha, a beverage often used for it intoxicating effects by the Inca and other Andes peoples during ritual and stately events. A temple and other features found at Inca-Caranqui would have necessitated the use of the beer-like beverage. The presence of an abundant number of fragmented utilitarian ground stone tools within the ritual precinct of the site suggests that these tools were engaged in other realms of social life outside their intended utility. The paper explores intentional fragment as a possible explanation for the fragmented state of many of the broken food processing tools from Inca-Caranqui.