Anthropology | ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE ANDES
P370 | 9447 | Sievert


How and when were the rugged Andes mountains in South America first
settled? What factors led to the development of complex maritime and
highland cultures? What is the significance of potatoes, coca, guinea
pigs, and llamas? Why did empires flourish in the Andes at different times
in the past? Who built the Nazca lines and what do they mean? Where did
the Inca come from and what caused their decline? Why did they leave
children to freeze to death on some of the highest mountaintops? We will
attack these topics and other questions for one of the most complex and
fascinating areas of the world in terms of archaeological research-the
Andes mountains of Peru. You will see how environment and natural
resources provide a backdrop for the development of transportation,
domestication and intensive agriculture, technological change, social and
ethnic differentiation, and religious systems that focus on high places,
and the sun.

What effect has archaeology had in Peru? Archaeological tourism is a
booming industry, looting is rampant, and cultural, national and ethnic
identities are often construed on the basis of archaeological knowledge
and findings. We will address these issues as well, because archaeology,
though it deals with the past, is something that happens in the here and
now.

The course will combine illustrated lectures, films, discussions and group
exercises to explore the Andean region-from its foundations in fishing
villages, to its complex cultures of Moche, Chan Chan, Wari, Tiwanaku and
Inca.

The course will be organized thematically, with topics including
environment, subsistence and agriculture, interaction, social structure,
technology, empires, religion, and the effect of archaeology. In the
context of these topics, specific cultures will be studied. Course
evaluation will consist of tests (with both objective and subjective
questions), and a final creative project.