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Archaeology and Linguistics in the Andes

The Prehistory of the Andes: Archaeology and Linguistics

A series of papers by leading international scholars in a range of disciplines.


BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, British Museum, Great Russell St., London

Tuesday 16th September 2008 — All Welcome

 

TimeSpeaker(s)Themeclick for
10:00 Dr. Colin McEwan Welcome.
10:15 Prof. Willem Adelaar Linguistic Oddities of the Andes. details
11:00 Prof. Peter Kaulicke Origins of Social Complexity in Ancient Peru. details
11:45 Coffee Break
12:00 Prof. William Isbell Imperial Ideology: Re-evaluating Religious Iconography Shared by Wari and Tiwanaku (A.D. 600-1000). details
13:00 Lunch Break
14:15

Dr. David Beresford-Jones & Dr. Paul Heggarty

Towards a Coherent Prehistory for the Andean Peoples: Bringing Together the Archaeological and Linguistic Stories. details
15:00 Prof. Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino Unravelling the Enigma of the 'Secret Language of the Incas'. details
15:45 Coffee Break
16:00 Dr. John Hemming Inca Ruins in Vilcabamba: Finds, Feuds, Frauds and Fantasies. details
17:00 Wine Reception (by invitation)

 Timings for each paper include 10-15 minutes for audience questions.

 


Welcome.

Dr Colin McEwan
Head of the Americas Section and curator of the Latin American Collections, British Museum

 


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Linguistic Oddities of the Andes.

A tour of weird and wonderful language survivors from the pre-Columbian Andes: the 'Taki', ritual chant of Inkawasi and the last gasps of the speech of the Moche empire; Puquina, the language of Tiahuanaco fossilised only in the jargon of the itinerant medicine-men of Callahuaya; Uro, the language of the 'semi-human' water-men of the floating islands of Titicaca; and Jaqaru and Kawki, the last beleaguered redoubts of 'Central Aymara'...

Prof. Willem Adelaar
University of Leiden, Netherlands
Eminent Andean linguist, lead author of Languages of the Andes.


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Origins of Social Complexity in Ancient Peru.

'Oldest City in the Americas'? 'First State in the New World'? Dotted along the desert coastal strip of north-central Peru, Caral and a host of associated archaeological sites enjoy exceptional preservation conditions. Discoveries here have prompted radical revisions and heated debate in archaeological circles far beyond the Andes. With their reliance on maritime resources as much as agriculture, and their 'Pre-Ceramic' classification in the archaeological chronology, Peru's 'Norte Chico' seems to challenge Old World preconceptions as to the building-blocks required for complex societies to arise...

Prof. Peter Kaulicke
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú , Lima
Eminent Andean archaeologist, editor of Boletín de Arqueología PUCP.


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Imperial Ideology: Re-evaluating Religious Iconography Shared by Wari and Tiwanaku (A.D. 600-1000).

Tiwanaku, high on the bleak Bolivian Altiplano on the shores of Lake Titicaca, has long fascinated travellers and archaeologists alike. For decades the extraordinary motifs of its monumental stone carvings were seen as the religious inspiration for the 'Middle Horizon': the ancient empire that rose and fell across the Andes centuries before the Incas. Prof. Isbell is world's foremost scholar of this period, and director of excavations at Conchopata, close to the other great Middle Horizon city of Huari, near Ayacucho in the southern Peruvian highlands. His recent discoveries of gigantic ceramics depicting dramatic Tiwanaku motifs seem set to overturn much of what archaeologists thought they knew about the origins of the Middle Horizon and the interactions between its Peruvian and Bolivian heartlands...

Prof. William Isbell
State University of New York at Binghampton
Eminent Andean archaeologist, co-editor of the series Andean Archaeology.

 


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Towards a Coherent Prehistory for the Andean Peoples: Bringing Together the Archaeological and Linguistic Stories.

From southernmost Colombia to north-west Argentina, the linguistic landscape of the Andes is dominated by two language families. Their present-day distributions have long misled observers into assuming that Quechua came from Cuzco with the Incas, and Aymara from Tiahuanaco. Linguistic evidence explodes these popular myths, but the true origins of these languages remain disputed even among specialists. Much hinges on the crucial role of Wari; we put forward a radically new scenario to weave the archaeological and linguistic stories at last into a holistic human prehistory for the Andes...

Dr David Beresford‑Jones & Dr Paul Heggarty
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge
- dbj: Specialist in the archaeology of the Peruvian south coast and the interface with linguistics.
- ph: Historical linguist specialised in the interface with archaeology, and in Andean languages.
co-organisers of the Cambridge, London and Lima symposia programme


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Unravelling the Enigma of the 'Secret Language of the Incas'.

Quechua, the lingua franca of Tawantinsuyu — surely this was the Incas' native tongue? Yet the linguistic clues reveal otherwise: the enigmatic 'Cantar de Tupac Yupanqui' is not Quechua, nor even are such names as Vilcanota, Ollantaytambo, even Cuzco itself. The trail leads instead to Aymara, first 'official language of the Incas', and perhaps ultimately to the Puquina of Tiahuanaco — beguiling clues to the Incas' origin myths and their ultimate homeland...

Prof. Rodolfo Cerrón‑Palomino
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú , Lima
Eminent Andean linguist, prolific author of standard reference works in Andean linguistics (Quechua, Aymara, Mochica, Uro).

 


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Inca Ruins in Vilcabamba: Finds, Feuds, Frauds and Fantasies.

For two centuries, Choquequirau was thought to be the 'lost city' of Manco Inca, until in 1911 Machu Picchu was discovered. During the past half-century a rich cast of explorers, scholars, adventurers and charlatans has been locating other ruins in the densely wooded hills of Vilcabamba...

Dr John Hemming
Director (retired), Royal Geographical Society
Renowned author of The Conquest of the Incas and Monuments of the Incas, as well as a three-volume history of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, and Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon.

 


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