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Peru & the Incas


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June 28, 2013


Books About Peru & the Incas

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Book Categories: Ancient Peru, Archaeology, Early Inca Histories, Modern Books on Incas, Machu Picchu, Conquest, Peru, Spanish Royal History, Children's Books, Americas, DVDs

Ancient Peru

The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru by Nigel Davies. About the empire of the Incas and the civilizations that preceded them, from the desert at Nazca to the great coastal civilization of Chimor.

Peruvian Prehistory: An Overview of Pre-Inca and Inca Society edited by Richard Keatinge. An authoritative survey of the cultural evolution of Peru from the appearance of the first inhabitants around 10,000 BC to the arrival of the Spanish in 1534.

Warriors of the Clouds: A Lost Civilization in the Upper Amazon of Peru by Keith Muscutt. Takes readers into the heart of an ancient civilization, the Chachapoya, nestled in the remote Andes of far eastern Peru. Heavily illustrated. (Review © Amazon.com)

Archaeology & Art

The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru by Michael E. Moseley. An introduction to the culture of ancient Peru, providing information on farming communities and religious rituals.

The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites in the Andes by Johan Reinhard. The author discovered the "Ice Maiden," a well-preserved Inca noblewoman, as well as other mummies and artifacts.

Peru: Art From the Chavin to the Incas by Luis Guillermo Lumbreras. This illustrated book describes the Inca and earlier civilizations, including the Paracas, Nazca, Recuay, Sicán-Lambayeque, Moche-Sipán, and Chimú cultures.

Early Narratives of the Incas

Narrative of the Incas by Juan De Betanzos, translated by Roland Hamilton. One of the earliest chronicles of the Inca empire, written in the 1550s. Betanzos drew from oral traditions told to him by his Inca wife and members of her aristocratic family, who lived during the reigns of the last Inca rulers, Huayna Capac Huascar and Atahualpa.

History of the Incas by Pedro Sarmiento De Gamboa. Written by a 16th century Spanish military officer, this is considered one of the primary sources of information on the pre-Conquest history of the Incas.

History of the Inca Empire by Father Bernabe Cobo, translated by Roland Hamilton. Written in the early 17th century. Includes information on the Incas' history, legends, and customs.

The Quito Manuscript edited by Sabine Hyland. An Inca history preserved by Fernando de Montesinos.

Reading Inca History by Catherine J. Julien. Examines the accuracy of Spanish accounts of Incan history.

Modern Histories of the Incas

The Incas by Terence N. D'Altroy. Explains the progress of the Incan empire from a remote Andean settlement near Lake Titicaca to its rapid demise six centuries later at the hands of the Spanish conquerors.

The Incas: People of the Sun by Carmen Bernand. The story of a magnificently advanced civilization and its bloody demise.

Daily Life in the Inca Empire by Michael A. Malpass. Reconstructs the daily life of the ruling class and the rest of society: life cycle events, food and drink, dress and ornaments, recreation, the calendar, taxation, warfare, government, language, class structure, work and the economy, engineering and architecture, housing, transportation, family life, women's roles, art, science, and religion. Includes a timeline of Inca history and a glossary of Inca terms.

The Incas: New Perspectives by Gordon F. McEwan. Portrait of the ancient Andean empire from the earliest days to its capitulation to Pizzarro in the mid-16th century. Discusses Inca culture, religion, politics, economics, and daily life.

To Feed and Be Fed: The Cosmological Bases of Authority and Identity in the Andes by Susan E. Ramirez. Examines the structure of Incan society on the eve of the Spanish conquest. The king acted as the center of the Incan universe, connecting the people to their ancestors, nature, and each other.

How the Incas Built Their Heartland: State Formation and the Innovation of Imperial Strategies in the Sacred Valley, Peru by Alan R. Covey. In a hundred years, Inca dominion spread across the Andes, a process traditionally thought to have been set in motion by a single ruler, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui. This book offers an alternative description of Inca society, focusing on long-term regional changes rather than heroic actions of Inca kings.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas edited by Richard L. Burger and Lucy C. Salazar. Situated high in the Peruvian Andes, the 15th-century Inca palace complex at Machu Picchu is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. This illustrated book provides an overview of the site, its place within the Inca empire, the mysteries surrounding its establishment and abandonment, and the discoveries made there since the excavations by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in the early 20th century.

Machu Picchu photographs by Barry Brukoff, poetry by Pablo Neruda, translated by Stephen Kessler. A gift book on Machu Picchu, the famed Inca site in Peru high in the Andes. This bilingual edition includes an English translation of Neruda's poem with the original Spanish.

Conquest and Spanish Rule

Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming. The Incan empire was conquered in the 16th century by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro. The last Incan emperor, Atahuallpa, was executed by the Spaniards. This book shows the reality of the Incas' struggle against the Spanish invasion and vividly describes post-conquest Peru.

The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie. Draws on native and Spanish chronicles to tell the dramatic story of the conquest of the Incas. Although the Incas fought a 36-year guerrilla war, the Spanish ultimately captured the last emperor and vanquished the native resistance.

House of the Tiger King: A Jungle Obsession by Tahir Shah. In 1572, Spanish Conquistadors stormed the Inca stronghold of Vilcabamba in Peru, searching for great golden treasure, only to find the city deserted and stripped of its wealth. The author recounts his recent search deep in the jungle for the lost city.

Spanish King of the Incas: The Epic Life of Pedro Bohorques by Ana María Lorandi. A man from an ordinary Spanish family, Bohorques led a series of expeditions into the jungles of Peru searching for the paradise of El Dorado. He presented himself as a descendent of Inca royalty and quickly rose to power as a king among the Calchaquíes of Tucumán.

Children of the Father King: Youth, Authority, and Legal Minority in Colonial Lima by Bianca Premo. A disjuncture between patriarchal laws and actual child-rearing practices in Lima, Peru from 1650 to 1820 strained the Spanish king's colonial legitimacy.

Shadows of Empire: The Indian Nobility of Cusco, 1750-1825 by David Garrett. The Indian nobility of the Andes - largely descended from the Inca monarchs and other pre-conquest lords - occupied a crucial economic and political position in late colonial Andean society.

Books About Spanish Royal History

Peru - Past and Present

Peru: Society and Nationhood in the Andes by Peter Flindell Klarén. eExplores the country's long history, with emphasis on social and economic issues, from pre-Incan times to 1995.

The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics edited by Orin Starn, Ivan Degregori, and Robin Kirk. This anthology covers Peru's history from its pre-Columbian civilizations to the 21st century.

Lonely Planet Peru by Sara Benson. A travel guide.

Children's Books

Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu by Ted Lewin. A fictional account of the discovery for children ages 4 to 8.


Movies & Documentaries

These DVDs are formatted for North American audiences.

NOVA: Secrets of Lost Empires - Inca . Nova's team of scientists look at how the Inca tribe survived in the Peruvian Andes 500 years ago.

In Search of History - Lost City of the Incas. A 2005 History Channel documentary about the spectacular Incan city of Machu Picchu.

National Geographic: The Great Inca Rebellion. History reports that the mighty Inca were swiftly wiped out by a small band of Conquistadors. But new evidence suggests that Spain's conquest of the Incan Empire actually took 20 years.

The Incas Remembered. Centuries ago, they performed brain surgery and were master builders. How did they do it? Find out more in this documentary.

Machu Picchu and the Legacy of the Incas. 2011 documentary about the ruined city of the Incas.

In Search of History: Death Cult of the Incas. Documentary from the History Channel.


Related Topics

Royalty in the Americas
Spain's Royal History
World Royal History


Other Websites

Wikipedia - Incas
Inca Royalty
The Moche and the Inca
Inca
Inca Mummies: Secrets of a Lost World
City of the King



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