Andean Archaeology I

Variations in Sociopolitical Organization

  • William H. Isbell
  • Helaine Silverman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. William H. Isbell, Helaine Silverman
      Pages 3-11
  3. Early Andean Civilizations

  4. Traditions of Imperialism in the Andes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Charles Stanish
      Pages 169-198
    3. William H. Isbell, JoEllen Burkholder
      Pages 199-241
    4. Patrick Ryan Williams, Donna J. Nash
      Pages 243-265
    5. Mary Glowacki
      Pages 267-285
    6. Gordon F. McEwan, Melissa Chatfield, Arminda Gibaja
      Pages 287-301
    7. John R. Topic, Theresa Lange Topic, Alfredo Melly Cava
      Pages 303-336
  5. Solving Puzzles of the Past

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 337-337
    2. Richard L. Burger, Michael D. Glascock
      Pages 341-368
  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 369-369
    2. William H. Isbell, Helaine Silverman
      Pages 371-380
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 381-390

About this book


Study of the origin and development of civilization is of unequaled importance for understanding the cultural processes that create human societies. Is cultural evolution directional and regular across human societies and history, or is it opportunistic and capricious? Do apparent regularities come from the way inves­ tigators construct and manage knowledge, or are they the result of real constraints on and variations in the actual processes? Can such questions even be answered? We believe so, but not easily. By comparing evolutionary sequences from different world civilizations scholars can judge degrees of similarity and difference and then attempt explanation. Of course, we must be careful to assess the influence that societies of the ancient world had on one another (the issue of pristine versus non-pristine cultural devel­ opment: see discussion in Fried 1967; Price 1978). The Central Andes were the locus of the only societies to achieve pristine civilization in the southern hemi­ sphere and only in the Central Andes did non-literate (non-written language) civ­ ilization develop. It seems clear that Central Andean civilization was independent on any graph of archaic culture change. Scholars have often expressed appreciation of the research opportunities offered by the Central Andes as a testing ground for the study of cultural evolu­ tion (see, e. g. , Carneiro 1970; Ford and Willey 1949: 5; Kosok 1965: 1-14; Lanning 1967: 2-5).


Andean archaeology Evolution Glas Obsidian ancient identity politics artefacts development of civilization early Andean civilizations ethnohistory inca labor-intensive agriculture material artefact sociopolitical organization symbols of power

Editors and affiliations

  • William H. Isbell
    • 1
  • Helaine Silverman
    • 2
  1. 1.State University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana-ChampaignUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 2002
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-5171-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-0639-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site