Before the Incas


The vestiges of pre-Inca societies on the northern coast of Peru have long suffered the ravages of time and destruction. Their memory faded in the shadow of a dazzling civilisation: the Incas. These first cultures flourished in the small green valleys scattered across the desert at the foot of the Andes. Over the last thirty years, archaeological excavations and material studies have uncovered many of the secrets of this history that stretches back thousands of years.
Before the Incas draws on science to bear testimony to these treasures of Peru's cultural heritage unearthed by archaeologists: remarkable ceramics, ornaments made from cold, copper and silver, revealing an exceptional technical sophistication. From the craftmanship and functions of these pieces we can gleam social practices, power relations, and beliefs that the work compellingly questions. The tombs of the elite provide a means of identifying the relationships between male and female leaders over several generations, as well as political upheavals. An analysis of architecture unveils the fabric of societies without which the Incas would undoubtedly not have achieved the level of development and innovation they did.


23 × 28 cm • 224 pages • €45
Joint publication Flammarion / musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
Paris, 2017
ISBN musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac : 978-2-35744-102-6
ISBN Flammarion: 978-2-08137-705-9