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Hardcover The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru Book

ISBN: 0500282773

ISBN13: 9780500282779

The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

"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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


The book is written in elaborate English - not easy to read but very elegant. Although it is supposed to be an introduction it should be read at least two times to fertilize one's mind. Author present his vision of Peruvian prehistory in a "reversed" order. He begins with Incas (1/5 of the whole book) to continue with plethora of their ancestors. As a result a reader gets a nice patchwork of archaeological-based definitions and life-giving interpretations. Some out-of-date details are perhaps only in my edition (2001).

Good background for a trip to Peru

If you are interested in understanding Incan civilization: its origins and antecedents, the economy that sustained it, and its interrelationship with the unique Andean environment, then this book is for you. I read it as background for a trip to Peru and it made the sites I saw much more interesting to be able to put them in a context. The first four chapters are a Historical Introduction followed by a fascinating analysis of how the complex Andean (Cordilleran) environment impacted native peoples, then chapters on Inca society and the Inca state. Subsequent chapters on earlier societies are less interesting and have more of a survey feel. This is not "popular history" - dumbed down and anecdotal; and some readers appear to have found it a difficult book. It has the feel of an upper level college history text (for me that is praise). I found it jargon free and easy to read.

Great resource

I use this book a great deal as a resource for research on ancient Peru. Although this book is not "made pretty" with lots of color photographs and has a textbook feel, it does contain a wealth of information and scholarship. It is a must read for anyone wanting to learn about the ancient cultures of Peru in depth.

Ancestors more advanced than the Incas

It is a shame that THE INCAS has to be stressed to sell a book that is so good on their ancestors. In North Peru, for example, the Moche left a wealth of advanced ( & colorful) information & technology skills of which Peru does not take advantage, especially in terms of tourism. See for the cultures of North Peru. We await the revised edition. Michael White & Clara Bravo, Trujillo Peru Tour Guides.

The Peru Incas reference book

The Incas and Their Ancestors has a textbook feel and is a good aid to research on the culture. The book is structured around the various periods of history and addresses art, survival, lifestyle and the design of structures and communities. The book is primarily enhanced with black and white photos of Inca art and drawings, although some color photos are included with the book. Drawings of the layouts of communities are helpful for research projects, but would have benefitted from being larger. Bought as a reference book for a school project, it will clearly meet the need, but it is not likely to be picked up for any casual reading!
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