Taking the Enlightenment Underground: Mining Spaces and Cartographic Representation in the Late Colonial Andes

Heidi V. Scott

Existing scholarship on Spanish America’s cartographic cultures largely overlooks mining maps. The Bourbon era, however, witnessed a proliferation in map production within the context of mining reform. Focusing on Peru, this article suggests that mining maps reflected and encouraged confidence in the possibility of introducing ‘enlightened order’ into mining spaces. A 1790 mining plan and petition presented in Lima provides a central case study. In the view of its creator, the plan did more than merely represent an innovative mining method. Rather, it constituted a vital tool in bringing enlightened order into Peru’s mines, below as well as above ground.

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