The Andes are of unquestioned significance to the human story: a cradle of agriculture and of 'pristine' civilisation with a pedigree of millennia. The Incas were but the culmination of a succession of civilisations that rose and fell to leave one of the richest archaeological records on Earth. By no coincidence, the Andes are home also to our greatest surviving link to the speech of the New World before European conquest: the Quechua language family. For linguists,
the native tongues of the Andes make for another rich seam of data on origins, expansions and reversals throughout prehistory. Historians and anthropologists, meanwhile, negotiate many pitfalls to interpret the conflicting mytho-histories of the Andes, recorded for us only through the distorting
prism of the conquistadors' world-view.
Each of these disciplines opens up its own partial window on the past: very different perspectives, to be sure, but all the more complementary for it. Frustratingly though, specialists in each field have all too long proceeded largely in ignorance of great strides being taken in the others. This book is a long overdue meeting of minds, bringing together a worldwide cast of pre-eminent scholars from each discipline. Here they at last converge their disparate perspectives into a true
cross-disciplinary focus, to weave together a more coherent account of what was, after all, one and the same prehistory.
The result, instructive also far beyond the Andes, is a rich case-study in the pursuit of a more holistic vision of the human past.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 440
Weight: 974 g
Dimensions: 240 x 169 x 30 mm