PROPOSING A DIGITAL INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF THE QHAPAQ ÑAN – ANDEAN ROAD SYSTEM
Keywords: Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, Cultural Heritage, Conservation, Management, Integrated Digital Model, Digital Humanities, Digital Tools
Abstract. The ancient network of roads in the Andean region is one of the most important works of infrastructure in South America. The extensive territory where the main exchanges between their communities were locally performed is previous to the expansion of the Inca Empire. In the year 2014, the region was included on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
This communication network is the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System. The Incas planned their route in the diverse landscape of the Andes to promote social and economic ties among the Andean communities. The routes originated in the central square of Cusco, creating cross-connections in a wide geographical area. The Tawantinsuyu depended on this sole route to link very distant production and worship centers.
The Qhapaq Ñan was the result of a political project. Even nowadays, it continues to articulate the development of cultural traditions in the Andean region. The present contribution analyzes its transcendental importance as a Cultural Heritage and the singularity of its nomination by the UNESCO, as for the first time six countries are sharing common objectives towards guaranteeing its protection.
Furthermore, this research explores the sense of timing in Latin American countries and the implicit challenges in the implementation of the new information technologies for the dissemination of information on Main Andean Road and for its conservation.
Although many of the countries have already incorporated the necessary digital tools in this matter, we conclude that there is a need to implement an Integrated Digital Model for the coordinated management in the countries that form the region.