More than 500 years ago, the now-desolate Inka city of Huánuco Pampa, located high up in the Andes Mountains in Peru, periodically bustled with tens of thousands of people. But despite its large palace, temples, and public halls, the city was home to only a few hundred year-round guards, administrators, and religious specialists who prepared the massive complex for religious and political festivals that attracted swells of visitors from the surrounding area. A selection of findings from one of the most ambitious archaeological excavations of this unique type of urban center are published in a book recently released by the late Craig Morris, a former curator of South American archaeology and dean of science at the American Museum of Natural History, and his colleagues, R. Alan Covey, an associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, and archaeologist Pat Stein.
Even before I began my education in anthropology and archaeology, I had read several books on theory and method, as well as researched diver...
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