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Department of Archaeology

Wednesday, 15 June, 2022 - 17:00 to 18:00
Event speaker: 
Beatriz Marín-Aguilera (University of Cambridge)

Title: Imperial Designs, Indigenous Ways: The Southernmost Spanish Borderland

Abstract: Chile was the most important and complex borderland of the Spanish Empire (1550–1818), in which colonial power and Indigenous resistance were contested over centuries. Spaniards struggled to subjugate the Reche-Mapuche –the local population–, and eventually conceded their independence upon the acknowledgement of the Spanish King in 1641. Years later, in the area of Valdivia, which gave access to the Pacific, the Spaniards and the Reche agreed on the construction of an intricate defence system to protect the Spanish Empire from the Dutch and the British attacks. The protection of the furthermost borderland of the Empire and the maintenance of a permanent army drained all the resources of the General Captaincy of Chile, leaving the colonists dependant on the Reche communities to survive. This paper explores both the materiality of fear embodied by the colonial fortifications, and the indigenised everyday life in the fortresses.


To attend please either attend in person or use this link to register via Zoom:


All of our talks will be delivered in a hybrid format, with inperson attendance at the McDonald Institute Seminar Room, and online broadcasting via Zoom. In-person attendees are invited to join a wine reception at the McDonald following each talk. For further details, please contact the organisers (,,,

Contact name: 
Jasmine Vieri
Contact email: 
Event location: 
McDonald Institute Seminar Room, also on Zoom
Geographical areas: 
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