Kevin Lane

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199232444
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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This article sets out to introduce and explain three underlying concepts underpinning Inca and Andean religion: animism (and anthropomorphism), oracular divination, and ancestor worship. It seeks to demonstrate how these worked within the evolution of Andean and, ultimately, Inca religion. Emerging from coeval highland religious traditions during the early Inca period, Inca religion was changing during the fifteenth century as a consequence of the experience of empire. The idea for this transformation of Inca religion was probably the effects of exposure to new ideas, from such well-organized cults as that of Pachacamac-Vichma and those of the Chimu Kingdom, along the central and northern coast respectively.

Keywords: Andean religion; animism; anthropomorphism; oracular divination; ancestor worship

Article.  7218 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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