Terence N. D’Altroy Loubat Professor of American Archaeology and Director of the Center for Archaeology Columbia University
Many discussions of Inka rule focus on the domination of millions of people, by imposing military control, establishing sustainable governance, and building a vast support infrastructure. Equally important, however, were the efforts the Inkas made to impose their own notions of cosmic and social order on the world at large. This talk explores how the Inkas thought the world worked and how to be successful within it, as they tried to make themselves the indispensable intermediary between humanity and all other powers. Among the key ideas that contributed to practical rule were their notions of life and death (e.g., living ancestral mummies), flexible relations with time and the past, and a landscape in which they shared social space with living mountains and rocks. Those ideas help us to understand how the Inkas managed to rule in a land without writing or a multi-year calendar. Among the sites explored are the major temples, carved stones, and the world’s highest archaeological sites, the mountain peak shrines containing sacrificed children.
Thursday, October 26, 2017 6 PM in the Lecture Hall The Institute of Fine Arts 1 East 78th Street
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. [Registration for this event has closed.]
Followed by a reception with wine and cheese in the Loeb Room