In 1532, when Pizarro conquered Peru, the Inca realm was one of the largest empires on earth, graced by gold masterpieces, towns with great palaces and temples, and an impressive network of roads.
But this glittering culture only obscured the rich and diverse civilizations that had preceded it: Chavin, Moche, Nazca, Tiwanaku, Huari, and Chimu. Described as a "masterly study" and an "outstanding volume" 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. 225 black-and-white illustrations