The Incas

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The Incas: New Perspectives offers a revealing portrait of the ancient Andean empire from the earliest stages of its development to its final capitulation to Pizzarro in the mid-16th century.

In recent years researchers have employed new tools to get to the heart of the mysterious Inca culture. Drawing on recent work in archaeology, anthropology, ethnohistory, and other sources, The Incas provides the most up-to-date interpretations of Inca culture, religion, politics, economics, and daily life available. Readers will discover how the Incas discovered medicines still in use and kept records using knotted cords; how Inca builders created masterful highways and stone bridges; and how the inhabitants of seemingly unfarmable lands came to give the world potatoes, beans, corn, squashes, tomatoes, avocados, peanuts, and peppers.

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Editorial Reviews

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"[I]t would make an excellent introductory text for an undergraduate course focusing on the Inca."


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851095742
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/2006
  • Series: Understanding Ancient Civilizations Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface xi
Preface xiii
Part 1 Introduction
Chapter 1 Introduction 3
Overview 3
Sources of Information about the Incas 6
Part 2 Inca Civilization
Chapter 2 Location of the Inca Civilization and Environmental Setting 19
Location 19
The Andean Environment 19
Andean Culture and Its Environment 24
Chapter 3 Historical and Chronological Setting 28
European Discovery of the Incas 28
Andean History before the Incas 33
Development of Andean Cultural Chronology 48
Chapter 4 Origins, Growth, and Decline of Inca Civilization 56
What the Incas Told the Spanish about Their Origins 57
What Scholars Have Learned about Inca Origins 62
The Inca Dynasty 68
Inca Rulers under Spanish Control 79
Chapter 5 The Economic Structure of the Inca State 83
Subsistence Patterns 83
The Inca Imperial Economy 87
Chapter 6 Social Organization and Social Structure 93
Estimating the Population of the Inca Empire 93
The Social Organization of Inca Civilization 96
The System of Social Classes 97
Life under Inca Rule 102
Inca Towns and Cities 108
Chapter 7 The Political Structure of the Inca State 112
Inca Government 112
Inca Decimal Administration 114
Administrative Infrastructure 115
The Inca Army 126
Social Engineering and the Disposition of Conquered Territories 131
Political Relations between the Incas and Their Subjects 133
Internal Politics among the Incas 134
Chapter 8 Religion and Ideology 137
Andean Cosmology 137
Inca State Ideology 138
Local-Level Ideology 139
Inca State Religion 142
Principal Rituals and Ceremonies of the State Religion 151
Principal Temples of the State Religion 155
Huacas: The Animistic Folk Religion 158
Chapter 9 Material Culture 161
Pottery 161
Wooden Objects 164
Metal 164
Cloth 167
Stone 169
Shell and Bone 171
Architecture 171
Chapter 10 Intellectual Accomplishments 179
Fine Arts 179
System of Measures 179
Language and Literacy 180
Inca Literacy, Mathematics, and Methods of Recording 182
Counting and Calculating Devices 185
Astronomical Knowledge 185
Part 3 Current Assessments
Chapter 11 Major Controversies and Future Directions in Inca Studies 195
Historicists vs. Structuralists: The Great Inca Debate 195
Issues in Inca Archaeology 197
Chronology 203
Glossary 207
Resources for Further Study 225
Index 259
About the Author 269
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