Ancestors of the Inca

Book - 2004
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Univ of Nebraska
By the shores of Lake Titicaca, the largest body of water in the South American highland, rose the city of Tiwanaku. Its megalithic structures were constructed between AD 100 and 300. By 500 Tiwanaku had become the capital of an expanding empire in the Andes that endured until approximately AD 1000, when extended drought caused water levels to fall and agriculture to fail. After European colonization many of the buildings were raided for their stone, which was used to construct churches, rail stations, and houses. Less than a day’s trip from La Paz, Bolivia, Tiwanaku remains one of the most impressive archeological sites in South America.

Despite its fame and its economic, political, and artistic importance to such later peoples as the Incas, the Tiwanaku civilization has never been the subject of a comprehensive international art exhibition and accompanying catalog—until now. Tiwanaku introduces American audiences to the striking artwork and fascinating rituals of this highland culture through approximately one hundred works of art and cultural treasures.

The range of media is unparalleled among ancient South American civilizations: large-scale stone sculptures, spectacular works in gold and silver, masterfully crafted ceramics, monumental architecture, gold and silver jewelry, and decoratively carved wood, bone, and stone objects. Of special note are the textiles, remarkably preserved by the dry climate of Tiwanaku’s outposts in Chile and Peru. These finely crafted and richly decorated objects assembled from collections around the world evoke a vivid and comprehensive picture of elite life five hundred to one thousand years before the Inca Empire.

This lavishly illustrated, full-color catalog features insightful scholarly essays introducing the general reader to the culture and historical context of the Tiwanaku.

Blackwell North Amer
Despite its fame as one of the most impressive archaeological sites in South America and its importance to later peoples like the Inca, the ancient civilization of Tiwanaku has never been the subject of a comprehensive international art exhibition. Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca invites the interested general reader to discover the art and sacred rituals of this influential but little-known culture.
Located in the Bolivian highlands near Lake Titicaca, Tiwanaku flourished from about A.D. 200 to 1000 and dominated a vast territory that included much of Bolivia as well as significant portions of what are now southern Peru and northern Chile. At its peak, the capital city of Tiwanaku was home to as many as forty thousand people, with up to five hundred thousand living in the surrounding countryside. But sometime around A.D. 1000, Tiwanaku's inhabitants fled the city. They left abruptly and with little ceremony, and no one knows exactly why.
The essays in this illustrated book roughly parallel the organization of the exhibition. Exhibition curator Margaret Young-Sanchez examines Tiwanaku's art and culture, with a particular emphasis on its remarkably well-preserved textiles, many of which are published here for the first time.

Publisher: Denver, CO : Denver Art Museum ; Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2004
ISBN: 9780803249219
Branch Call Number: 984.12 YOU 2004
Characteristics: 215 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 32 cm
Additional Contributors: Denver Art Museum

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