John V. Murra's Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, originally given in 1969, are the only major study of the Andean "avenue towards civilization." Collected and published for the first time here, they offer a powerful and insistent perspective on the Andean region as one of the few places in which a so-called "pristine civilization" developed. Murra sheds light not only on the way civilization was achieved here which followed a fundamentally different process than that of Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica he uses that study to shed new light on the general problems of achieving civilization in any world region. Murra intermixes a study of Andean ecology with an exploration of the ideal of economic self-sufficiency, stressing two foundational socioeconomic forces: reciprocity and redistribution. He shows how both enabled Andean communities to realize direct control of a maximum number of vertically ordered ecological floors and the resources they offered. He famously called this arrangement a "vertical archipelago," a revolutionary model that is still examined and debated almost fifty years after it was first presented in these lecture. Written in a crisp and elegant style and inspired by decades of ethnographic fieldwork, this set of lectures is nothing less than a lost classic, and it will be sure to inspire new generations of anthropologists and historians working in South America and beyond.
Number of pages: 170
Weight: 548 g
Dimensions: 277 x 215 x 11 mm
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