The Incas and their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru / Edition 2

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"An outstanding volume that provides a comprehensive and coherent introduction to the prehistory of the Andes...well-written and beautifully illustrated... filled with ideas."
- Hispanic American Historical Review

Described as "magnificent" and a "masterly study" on its first publication, The Incas and their Ancestors quickly 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 Incas are given new clarity by a spate of modern research on America's largest native empire.

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.

With 234 illustrations

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
A clear and highly readable account of how [the Inca] empire evolved and thrived despite its enormous geographical diversity.
A book that will appeal to scholars, students, and travelers alike.
New Scientist
The extraordinary saga of the Incas and the prehistoric Andean culture upon which they built are admirably described ....a masterly study.
Hispanic American Historical Review
An outstanding volume that provides a comprehensive and coherent introduction....well-written and beautifully illustrated ....filled with ideas.
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
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 (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500282779
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 6/17/2001
  • Edition description: Revised Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 394,063
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.69 (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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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 7
The Incas 9
The conquest 11
The historical record 12
The archaeological record 17
Ch. 2 Land of the Four Quarters 25
The Cordillera 25
Geography of the Four Quarters 32
Making a living 43
Ch. 3 The Inca Model of Statecraft
The cosmos 51
The ayllu 53
Statecraft 70
Ch. 4 Colonization of the Cordillera 87
The colonization process 87
Adaptive dispersal 92
Domestication 102
Ch. 5 The Preceramic Foundations of Civilization 107
Preceramic economies 107
Social formations 114
Arts 115
Monumental architecture 117
Ch. 6 The Initial Period and Early Horizon 131
Irrigation agriculture 133
Monumental architecture 136
Highland developments 143
The Titicaca Basin 154
The Early Horizon 158
The southern sphere 158
Chavin and the northern sphere 163
Ch. 7 The Early Intermediate Period 173
North coast 174
The central and south coasts 196
The sierra 203
The altiplano 208
Ch. 8 The Middle Horizon 223
Moche upheaval 223
Huari adaptive dispersal 230
Tiwanaku 238
Ch. 9 The Late Intermediate Period 245
The Titicaca region 245
The southern sierra 247
The central and northern sierra 257
The central and south coasts 258
Chimor and the north 261
Epilogue 276
Sources of Illustrations 278
General Bibliography 279
Archaeological Bibliography 280
Index 284
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