The Cities of the Ancient Andes

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Book Details

Author  Adriana Von Hagen
Publisher  Thames & Hudson
Publication Date   March 30, 1998
ISBN  0500050864
Pages  224

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Description

Presenting a study of the civilizations which ruled the Andean regions before the arrival of the Spanish, this book describes how the diversity of the Andean landscape has stamped a special character on its mysterious cities, which followed sacred geometry and were places for religious worship. The most extensive empire of pre-Colombian America was toppled in under a decade by a handful of Spanish invaders who looted the fabled riches of its great city, Cuzco, and severed its 15,000-mile system of roads. But the Inka empire was only the final link in a chain of urban development stretching back to 2500BC. What went before? Who created Machu Picchu, Ollantaytanbo and Huaca del Sol? The authors describe how the diversity of the Andean lanscape has stamped a special character on its mysterious cities, which followed sacred geometry and were places for religious worship. The people tried to control the extremes of nature they saw around them in mountains, jungle and desert with ceremony, ritual and blood offerings to the gods. Gradually, religious centres evolved into the powerful empires of later years. Vignettes of the lives of individuals - the leader of a llama caravan (the truck-driver of Chavin times), a delivery boy in the Chimu city of Chan Chan and an Inka sacrificial victim among them - supplement the archaeological narrative. This should be a useful book for travellers to the Andes, students and anyone who wants to learn more about ancient South America.

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