An Archaeology of Ancash: Stones, Ruins and Communities in Andean Peru, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

An Archaeology of Ancash

Stones, Ruins and Communities in Andean Peru, 1st Edition

By George Lau


258 pages

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Hardback: 9781138898998
pub: 2016-05-19
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pub: 2016-04-28
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An Archaeology of Ancash is a well–illustrated synthesis of the archaeology of North Central Peru, and specifically the stone structures of the Ancash region. All the major cultures of highland Ancash built impressive monuments, with no other region of South America showing such an early and continuous commitment to stone carving. Drawing on Lau’s extensive experience as an archaeologist in highland Peru, this book reveals how ancient groups of the Central Andes have used stone as both a physical and symbolic resource, uncovering the variety of experiences and meanings which marked the region’s special engagement with this material.

An abundant raw resource in the Andes, stone was used for monuments, sculptures and other valuables such as carved monoliths, which were crucial to the emergence of civilization in the region, and religious objects from magical charms to ancestor effigies. Detailing the ways stone has played both an everyday and an extraordinary part in ancient social life, Lau also examines how cultural dispositions towards this fundamental material have changed over time and considers how contemporary engagements with these stone remains have the potential to create and regenerate communities. With an ample selection of color photos which bring these sites and artifacts to life, An Archaeology of Ancash is an essential guide to the key monuments, places and objects that distinguish this region and its rich archaeological heritage.


"The volume will be of interest to Peruvianist social scientists and researchers focused on interpreting prehistoric religious iconography. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries"

-D. L. Browman, Washington University - St. Louis in CHOICE

"Extremely well written, up to date and saturated with information, this book is a delicate balancing act between theory and data. Is it well done? It is. I particularly liked the ‘focus sections’ on select sites or objects, as well as the abundant colour plates."

-Kevin Lane, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina in Antiquity

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. A Land of Stone

Chapter 3. Constructing Collectives: Early Stone Monuments in Ancash

Chapter 4. Of Monsters and Men in the Chavín Period

Chapter 5. ‘Children of the Stones’: Lithicity in the Recuay Tradition

Chapter 6. An Ancient Andean Game

Chapter 7. States and Stones: Wari and Inka in Ancash

Chapter 8. Old Presences, New Relevances

Chapter 9. Concluding Thoughts

About the Author

George F. Lau is Reader in Archaeology at the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas of the University of East Anglia, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology