ABSTRACT

Important comparative researchers have used the Andean states as case studies in their monumental effort to discover the common elements in the emergence of complex societies throughout the world. In many instances, one can find that these sweeping and impressive studies often lack some important archaeological data. Perhaps, an intermediate way in which more familiar categories are used, or are closer to the Andean original societies inspired by these ethnohistoric sources, can help to address this ontological problem. Katharina Schreiber dealt with such epistemological challenges when she studied the Wari Empire. In the absence of written sources, the Inca Empire always ended up being the reference point for analogies to earlier Andean societies. Analogy as a way of generating explanations is a very important epistemological tool in the social sciences and, especially, in archaeology.