Logo IMG


Back in the High Life

Click to Enlarge ImageClick to Enlarge Image

Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Chan Chan are among the best known of ancient Andean cities. Yet there are hundreds of others, lesser known but as magnificent in their own way, say Adriana von Hagan and Craig Morris, authors of The Cities of the Ancient Andes (Thames and Hudson, $27.50). The authors describe ancient Andean urbanites as if they had lived among them: "Magically, a brightly dressed man appeared on the summit of temple, blowing a trumpet." Their accounts are reconstructed in part from such relics as the the gilded copper feline from the 3rd century (left) and a gold mummy mask, circa the10th. These were found in tombs on the north coast of Peru, in places called Sipán and Batán Grande, thousands of feet above sea level. The artifacts hightlight the quality of the region's metalwork—the cat's fangs, nose, eyes and ears are inlaid with stone and a rare, coral-rimmed shell. The cat also shows that the mountain-dwellers traded with coastal inhabitants: The inlaid shell, Spondylus, is found in Ecuador.

comments powered by Disqus

Connect With Us:

Facebook Icon Sm Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon RSS Feed Instagram Icon

Sigma Xi/Amazon Smile (SciNight)

Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.

Read Past Issues on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.


Subscribe to American Scientist