Conclusion: A Cross-Disciplinary Prehistory for the Andes? Surveying the State of the Art


in Archaeology and Language in the Andes

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265031
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754142 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Conclusion: A Cross-Disciplinary Prehistory for the Andes? Surveying the State of the Art

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


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This chapter sums up the new state of the cross-disciplinary art in Andean prehistory, as collectively represented by the foregoing chapters. Progress and new perspectives are explored first on key individual questions. Who, for instance, were the Incas, and whence and when did they come to Cuzco? How and when did Quechua, too, reach Cuzco, as well as its furthest-flung outposts in north-west Argentina, Ecuador, and northern Peru? The scope is then broadened to overall scenarios for how the main Andean language families might correlate in time and space with archaeological horizons that could best account for their dispersals. Four basic hypotheses have emerged, whose respective strengths and weaknesses are assessed in turn: a traditional ‘Wari as Aymara’ model, revised and defended; alternative proposals of ‘Wari as both Aymara and Quechua’, or ‘both Chavín and Wari as Quechua’; and the most radical new departure, ‘Wari as Quechua, Chavín as Aymara’.

Keywords: Quechua; Aymara; Wari; Chavín; Andean prehistory; Incas; Andean language families

Chapter.  12682 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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