The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru

Nigel Davies - Author

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ISBN 9780140233810 | 240 pages | 01 Jan 1998 | Penguin | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru Summary of The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru Reviews for The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru An Excerpt from The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru

Nigel Davies's book on The Incas is widely regarded as a definitive account of an empire devastated by the Spanish Conquest of 1532. Now, in this major new book, he draws on the evidence of recent exavations of Peruvian sites in this remarkable survey of the civilizations which preceded the Incas.

As recently as 1987, robbers discovered by far the most spectacular vestiges of the Moche people who ruled much of Peru for the first six Christian centuries. This find - a royal burial chamber shoulder-deep in gold and silver ornaments and carvings studded with jewels - has provided many powerful insights into their way of life as Nigel Davies shows.

Patterns representing a condor, a killer whale and even a 260-foot monkey, visible only from the air, are built into a bare expanse of desert at Nazca. Davies analyses and assesses the latest scholarly theories surrounding one of the world's great enigmas. He then turns to the key power centres of the 'middle period' in Huari and Tiahuanaco, the great coastal civilization of Chimor (the first for which we have written accounts), and its eventual defeat by the Incas in around 1470. Alongside the often biased conquistador chronicles, archaeology can now illuminate the Inca imperial cult, their methods of agriculture, road-building, town-planning and settlement. In this lively and compelling overview, Davies makes accessible the latest research on all these ancient kingdoms of Peru.


1. The Birth of Civilization
2. Moche
3. Nazca: Unsolved Enigmas
4. The Middle Kingdoms
5. The Great Chimor
6. The Rise of the Incas
7. The Sacred City
8. The Boundless Realm
9. The Conquest

Select Bibliography


1. Primitive Dwelling, Approximately 3000 BC
2. Stone Warriors from Cerro Sechin
3. Details of Principal Facade of Chavin Temple
4. El Lanzon
5. A Stone Feline from Chavin with Cylindric Jar on Its Back
6. Moche Dancers Playing Pan-pipes
7. Moche Ruler with Musicians
8. Moche Ritual Dancers
9. Anthropomorphic Crab
10. Moche Warrior with Prisoner
11. Dismemberment of Captives
12. Moche Bird Warrior
13. Consumption of Ritual Blood by Priest
14. Nazca Lines: Plant
15. Nazca Lines: Bird
16. Paracas Painted Vessels
17. Images on Nazca Painted Pots
18. Frieze of Weeping Sun God
19. Figures which Flank the Tiahuanaco Sun God
20. Tiahuanaco Drinking Vessel
21. Huari Drinking Vessel also Illustrating Weeping Deity Similar to those of Tiahuanaco
22. The Sican Lord Mounted on Serpent
23. Portion of Chan Chan Palace Frieze
24. Chimu Painted Earspool
25. Chimu Blackware Vessels
26. Chimu Double-spout Vessel
27. The Ruler's Chief Accountant, Holding Quipu (illustration by Huaman Poma)
28. Pachacutec Inca (illustration by Huaman Poma)
29. Topa Inca in His Storehouse in Collao (illustration by Huaman Poma)
30. Inca Goblet or Quero from Ollantaytambo
31. Atahualpa with Spanish Guard (illustration by Huaman Poma)


1. Principal Chavin and Pre-Chavin Sites
2. The Moche Era
3. Principal Sites of the Middle Horizon
4. The Realm of Chimor
5. The Inca Empire in 1532
6. Cuzco at the Time of the Conquest


1. Ritual chamber, Galgada
2. Main temple, Chavin de Huantar
3. Panoramic view of main temple
4. Moche pottery figurine vessel
5. Moche pottery bird-shaped vessel
6. Moche pottery portrait vessel
7. Moche pottery house vessel
8. Moche pottery stirrup-spout vessel
9. Nazca bridge-spouted pot
10. Nazca painted bowl with turkey vulture motif
11. Nazca objects, hammered gold, perhaps representing humming-bird-moths
12. Paracas pottery mask
13. Large embroidered Paracas mantle
14. Tiahuanaco: stairs to the Kalasaya temple, beyond which stands the monolith
15. The monolith: a richly attired figure holding a beaker and a short scepter
16. Poncho, late coastal Tiahuanaco
17. Huari mirror
18. Huari double-spout bottle representing a skull
19. Chimu ceramic bottle
20. Chimu tapestry poncho
21. Chimu disc in hammered silver
22. Chancay mantle with bird motifs
23. Inca poncho
24. Inca silver figurine
25. Inca fortress at Sacsahuaman
26. The twelve-sided stone
27. The church of Santo Domingo in Cuzco built on the mortarless stones of the Coricancha
28. Statue of Francisco Pizarro in his birthplace, Trujillo de Extremadura, Spain

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