Anthropology | Civilizations of the Andes
P370 | 27405 | 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, what happened to them, and why did they
place children on some of the highest mountaintops? We will approach
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 South America. 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.