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The Nasca

ISBN: 978-0-631-23224-7
360 pages
March 2002, Wiley-Blackwell
The Nasca (0631232249) cover image


This well-illustrated, concise text will serve as a benchmark study of the Nasca people and culture for years to come.
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Table of Contents



1. From Pots to People.

2. Emergence and Evolution of the Nasca Ceramic Tradition.

3. Life in the Desert.

4. We, the Nasca.

5. The Inhibited Landscape.

6. Symbolic Expressions of the Natural and Supernatural World.

7. The Geoglyphs of the Rio Grande de Nazca Drainage.

8. Religion and Ritual.

9. Headhunting and Warfare.

10. Nasca Sociopolitical Organization.

11. After Nasca.



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Author Information

Helaine Silverman is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of Cahuachi in the Ancient Nasca World (1993) and various articles and chapters on ancient Nasca society.

Donald A. Proulx is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the author of numerous publications on Nasca culture including Local Differences and Time Differences in Nasca Pottery (1968) and The Nasca Style (1983).

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Traces the history of archaeological research to sort out fact from fiction.

  • Includes new data based on years of fieldwork by the authors.

  • Examines Nasca society, politics, art, and religion.

  • Debunks the popular "aliens theory" of how the Nasca lines were created.
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"An outstanding contribution to the field of Andean archaeology. This book is the most comprehensive treatment of the Nasca available and is a must read for any person interested in the origins of complex societies in South America and beyond." Charles Stanish, University of California, Los Angeles <!--end-->

"Preposterous but popular arguments that the enigmatic Nazca Lines were created by extraterrestrials detract from appreciation of Native American culture, making an entertaining and scholarly archaeology of ancient Nasca civilization especially pertinent. Silverman and Proulx have written exactly the right book. A formidable pair of scholars, erudite while engaging, they present an almost encyclopaedic account of what is known about Nasca without ever failing to fascinate. This is an excellent book for scholars, students, and for educated general readers. It represents a real contribution to knowledge about Native American civilization." William H. Isbell, State University of New York at Binghamton

"This is the first book to discuss, in depth, the culture of the Nasca, which not only produced monumental works, but whose society flourished in seven river valleysfrom Chincha to Chala. The 11 chapters, written by the two foremost scholars of Nasca archaeology, present an up-to-date synthesis of what is known of Nasca society between 150BCE and 800CE." Choice, Nov. 2002

"The Nasca can be recommended as the only comprehensive overview of its subject, and it is hoped that it will stimulate the programme of research badly needed to put to the test the plethora of ideas advanced in it." Journal of Latin American Studies

"Andeanists should welcome this addition to the series devoted to single prehistoric societies ... much will be of considerable interest to both specialists and students, as well as the general public ... the book is a feast for all." Dwight T. Wallace, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"This book consolidates some hundred years of scholarship, since Max Uhle first sought out these pre-Inca people in 1901." British Bulletin of Publications, October 2003

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