The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru

The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru

by Michael E. Moseley
     
 
Described as "magnificent" and a "masterly study" on its first publication, The Incas and their Ancestors quicly established itself as the best general introduction to the cultures and civilizations of ancient Peru. Now this classic text has been fully updated for the revised edition. New discoveries over the last decade are integrated throughout. The occupation of

Overview

Described as "magnificent" and a "masterly study" on its first publication, The Incas and their Ancestors quicly established itself as the best general introduction to the cultures and civilizations of ancient Peru. Now this classic text has been fully updated for the revised edition. New discoveries over the last decade are integrated throughout. The occupation of Peru's desert coast can now be traced back to 12,000 BC and ensuing maritime adaptations are examined in early littoral societies that mummified their dead and others that were mound builders. The spread of Andean agriculture is related to fresh data on climate, and protracted drought is identified as a recurrent contributor to the rise and fall of civilizations in the Cordillera. The results of recent excavations enliven understanding of coastal Moche and Nazca societies and the ancient highland states of Huari and Tiwanaku. Architectural models accompanying burials provide fresh interpretations of the palaces of imperial Chan Chan, while the origins of the lncas are given new clarity by a spate of modern research on America's largest native empire.

Editorial Reviews

Hispanic American Historical Review
An outstanding volume that provides a comprehensive and coherent introduction....well-written and beautifully illustrated ....filled with ideas.
New Scientist
The extraordinary saga of the Incas and the prehistoric Andean culture upon which they built are admirably described ....a masterly study.
Washington Post
A clear and highly readable account of how [the Inca] empire evolved and thrived despite its enormous geographical diversity.
Choice
A book that will appeal to scholars, students, and travelers alike.
Library Journal
Three decades of progress in understanding the 12,000 years of known Peruvian prehistory are concisely synthesized in this book. Like most authors who write about ancient Peru, Moseley organizes his narrative around the Inca, celebrating their magnificent achievements in art and architecture. He sets himself apart by exploring the role of climatic and environmental change in the area's social and economic evolution, arguing that Andean civilization can only be understood as a response to the stresses of wide differences in altitude, tectonism, and erratic rainfall. An underlying theme is that knowledge of prehistory can illuminate the contemporary human condition. This book covers well-traveled ground, but it has a freshness that should make it the preferred reference, replacing classics such as G.H.S. Bushnell's Peru (Praeger, 1963. rev. ed.) and introducing scholarly works such as R.W. Keatinge's Peruvian Prehistory (Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1988). Recommended for both lay readers and scholars.-- William S. Dancey, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
Booknews
When Peru fell to the conquistadores in 1532, the Inca realm was one of the largest on Earth, matching the grandeur of Ming China and the Ottoman Empire. Moseley (archaeology and paleoenvironmental studies, U. of Florida) traces the evolutionary history of the civilizations that preceded and gave rise to the success of the Incas, and provides insights of contemporary Andean peoples into the cultures of their ancestors. Some 225 (b&w) illustrations: maps, line drawings, some exceptionally lovely photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500277232
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
08/28/1993
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.93(w) x 10.01(h) x 0.95(d)

Meet the Author

Michael E. Moseley is Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Paleo-Environmental Studies at the University of Florida. He has conducted extensive fieldwork on the pre-Columbian sites of Peru and is the author of many books and studies on the subject.

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