Defying many of the supposed rules of civilization building and lacking the advantages of a written language, hard metals, the wheel, or draft animals, the Incas forged one of the greatest imperial states in history. In recent years, researchers have employed new tools to get to the heart of this mysterious culture. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, and ethhistory, The Incas provides the most up-to-date interpretations of the culture, religion, politics, ecomics, and daily life available. Readers will learn how the Incas discovered medicines still in use and kept records using ktted cords; how they created masterful highways and stone bridges; and how the inhabitants of seemingly unfarmable lands came to give the world potatoes, beans, corn, squashes, tomatoes, avocados, peanuts, and peppers.
Gordon F. McEwan is an associate professor of anthropology at Wagner College on Staten Island, the author of The Middle Horizon in the Valley of Cuzco, Peru, and the coauthor of Knowing the Inca Past. He lives in Robbinsville, New Jersey.