The Ancient Andean States : Political Landscapes in Pre-Hispanic Peru book cover
1st Edition

The Ancient Andean States
Political Landscapes in Pre-Hispanic Peru

ISBN 9781138097643
Published October 14, 2020 by Routledge
296 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Ancient Andean States combines modern social theory, recent archaeological literature, and the experience of the author to examine politics and power in the great Andean pre-Hispanic societies.

The ancient Andean states were the great shapers of Peruvian prehistory. Social complexity, architectural monumentality, and specialized economic production, among others, were features of these sophisticated societies known by professionals and travelers from around the world. How and when these states emerged and succeeded is still debated. By examining Andean pre-Hispanic societies such as Caral, Sechín, Chavín, Moche, Wari, Chimú, and Inca, this book delves into their political and economic structures as well as explores their ideological worldviews. It reveals how these societies were organized and how different social groups interacted in the states.

Archaeologists and anthropologists interested in Peruvian archaeology and the political and social structures of ancient societies will find this book to be a valuable addition to their shelves.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of tables



Chapter 1. Introduction: why and how to study the ancient Andean states

Part I: Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the ancient Andean states

Chapter 2. Previous research on the ancient Andean states in Peru

Chapter 3. A proposal for the study of ancient Andean states

Part II: Case studies

Section I: the precursors of the ancient Andean states

Chapter 4. Caral

Chapter 5. Sechín

Chapter 6. Chavín

Section 2: the ancient Andean states

Chapter 7. Moche

Chapter 8. Wari

Chapter 9. Chimú

Chapter 10. Inca

Part III: Summary

Chapter 11. The ancient Andean states: discontinuities and continuities.

Chapter 12. Epilogue



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Henry Tantaleán is a Peruvian archaeologist from Lima. He studied archaeology at the National University of San Marcos, where he is currently a full professor. He obtained a master's degree and Ph.D. from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. His interests are social theory and archaeological applications, Andean archaeology, and origins of the Andean pre-Hispanic states. He is the author of several academic publications. Recently, he published Peruvian Archaeology: A Critical History (Routledge, 2016) and edited the volume Andean Ontologies: New Archaeological Perspectives.


"This is a wonderful and engaging resource: an important account of the development of states in the pre-Hispanic Andes. It provides a broad-ranging discussion that explores the Andean examples within an inclusive theoretical framework. The book is highly successful in celebrating the diversity of ancient states in the Andes while at the same time noting the similarities between them and with other parts of the globe." - Ian Hodder, Stanford University, USA

"Tantaleán provides a remarkably concise and wide-ranging prehistory of complex Andean societies. Arranged chronologically and developmentally, each chapter describes a well-documented prehistoric case vividly exemplified by archaeological sites from Late Archaic origins of complexity at Caral to the expansive Inca Empire. His compelling and up-to-date presentations are skillfully understood by a robust social theory." - Timothy Earle, Northwestern, USA

"Harnessing a selection of the great societies of the Andean region, Tantaleán dives into key polities that illustrate the breadth of the long-lived pre-modern Andean states. This book will be excellent for everyone who teaches and learns Andean archaeology, as these case studies clearly and briefly lay out the major aspects of a range of Andean societies framing each society in a similar way, making it easy to compare and contrast between them." - Christine Hastorf, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"The Ancient Andean States is an innovative evolutionary synthesis of power and politics in prehistoric Peru. Engagingly written, Tantaleán explores the origins and development of statecraft in the land of the Inca." - Michael Moseley, University of Florida, USA