The world's longest mountain chain, the Andes, dominates western South America from north to south, and for millennia has been home to the continent's richest civilisations. Only in the past century have we begun to grasp the scale of the material destruction wrought by European colonisers. Enough has survived, however, to testify to great artistic skill and breathtaking imagination of these civilisations. If you thought South American culture begins and ends with the Incas at Machu Picchu, think again! Treasures of the Incas is a beautiful showcase of the superb legacy of all the ancient peoples of South America. It features the wonderfully imaginative tradition of craftsmanship in precious metals, as well as beautiful textiles, embroidery, ceramics and architecture. Accompanying this is a detailed commentary explaining the symbols depicted, and the beliefs that lay behind them. Highlights include Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines.
A vivid and richly illustrated portrait of the rise and fall of the mountain and coastal peoples of this region, Treasures of the Incas sets the riches of South America in their historical and regional context, and restores an important missing piece in the jigsaw of the world's great civilisations.
Jeffrey Quilter is Director of Pre-Columbian Studies and Curator of the Pre-Columbian Collections at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. He has written or edited a number of books, including Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia (2003).