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The Incas and Their Ancestors


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A highly acclaimed general introduction to the cultures and civilization of ancient Peru

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Michael Edward Moseley is an American anthropologist at the University of Florida.


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

'A grand sweep forward from the very beginnings of culture... brings together and assesses the spectacular discoveries of recent years' - The Times Literary Supplement

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