What are minkapedia articlesEdit
This article has a lead-in from Minkapedia Corner in Minka-news 29/08/08: "Minka (Quechua ‘working-together / collaboration’)-pedia ( Classical.Greek ‘education') is the collaborative education and research section of Minka news. You can join in directly – learn more about the Andes. You can also add to and discuss the materials. Click ‘THE PREHISTORY OF THE ANDES’ - http://academia.wikia.com/wiki/Prehistory_of_the_Andes" Mink-news is distributed (initially in the UK but now 'internet-wide') by email each week to several thousand readers - in Spanish, English and Portuguese. NB Footnote links will only work on-screen if you use the version in <academia.wikia.com> referenced above. Help improve this article by adding, commenting, illustrating, inserting video and sound etc – also by clicking on the reference above."(Ref. Minka-news article)
An integrated ancient (pre) history of the central Andean areaEdit
This article is based around the themes of the "FREE PUBLIC LECTURES BY EXPERTS" on the "THE PREHISTORY OF THE ANDES" to be given on TUESDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2008, 10 am to 5 pm, in the BP Lecture Theatre, The British Museum, London WC1 (nearest tubes Tottenham Court Road, Holborn). Always refer to British Museum original information http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar/the_prehistory_of_the_andes.aspx for confirmation of time and place as this can be altered / this article is not intended as event information (but as an aid to understanding and enjoyment of the lectures).
The article is designed as companion to or preparation for the British Museum lectures, but is not a substitute for or summary of the lectures. The lectures themselves are part of a project involving the University of Cambridge (UK) and the Catholic University (La Catolica (ao) Lima, Peru) and other specialists and centres of excellence. The integrating or synthesising symposium in Lima in one-year’s time will include a ‘roll-call of experts’ – see provisional programme: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/ala/Peru%20Symposium%20Provisional%20Programme.pdf For the page titled ‘Cross-Disciplinary Symposia & Edited Volumes’ see http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/ala/
A word about "prehistory"Edit
First - for newcomers to these topics - a word about "prehistory". "Pre"-"history" does not mean "before history" but (for many historians and archaeologists) refers to the period before the development and use of writing  as we commonly know it, i.e. before the invasion of South America by the Europeans.
Linguistics approach to prehistoryEdit
Four of the lecturers focus on a linguistics approach to prehistory rather than an approach based on 'hard (traditional) archaeology': Willem Adelaar, Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino, David Beresford-Jones, and Paul Heggarty. The way linguistics can aid the interpretation of the past is one of the hot new areas of interest which this conference will do much to highlight. The reasoning goes something like this: imagine that until a few years ago the United States had no writing and little oral history, but that people in the North East pronounced their place-name “New England”. Could we infer from this that the history of the area was somehow linked to that of England? However it is much more subtle and complex (& difficult) than this. Take a look at Paul Heggarty’s website www.languagesandpeoples.com/PaulHeggarty.htm and the following articles: Heggarty, Paul, 2007 Linguistics for archaeologists: principles, methods and the case of the Incas Cambridge Archaeological Journal 17(3), 311-40
Heggarty, Paul, 2008 Linguistics for archaeologists: a case-study in the Andes Cambridge Archaeological Journal 18(1), 35-56
Complex societies, middle horizon, VilcabambaEdit
Simple not primitiveEdit
Another current zone of archaeological interest is that of the “first urban cultures” or “complex societies”. Peter Kaulicke no doubt will dispel some of the more absurd Fordian (Harrison) thinking. Minkapedias pages on Caral (oldest urban civilisation in the world?) might be a good starting point (http://academia.wikia.com/wiki/Caral) for a bit of preparatory viewing and reading. You can also view the excellent but a trifle dated BBC film on Caral (Google YouTube/Search BBC, Caral).
When you first dig into Andean archaeology you encounter the term “horizon” which has been the undoing of many an aspiring gap-year (pre)historian. It is supposed / modelled that ancient history in the Andes saw successive periods of expansion and then fragmentation. These periods of expanding influence of dominant iconic cultures include (1) Chavin around the period of the late Greek and Roman empires – called the Early Horizon (2) the Middle Horizon Wari expansion around the time of Charlemagne (i.e. a ‘European horizon’) and (3) the Inka or Late Horizon, just prior to the Spanish conquest (1532).
The Middle Horizon, Wari and TiwanakuEdit
I am not going to second guess the contents of Professor William Isbell’s lecture but we are promised that “the word’s foremost scholar of the ‘Middle Horizon’ (will) describe his amazing new excavations (and that these) overturn accepted views of the relationship of Wari in Peru and the great ruins of Tiwanaku in the Bolivian altiplano”.
Finally Britain’s best-known writer on Peru, John Hemming, will look at the Vilcabamba. “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.” quotes the programme (see below). And the bible for scholars and explorers alike (but not the charlatans) during the past three decades or more has been Dr Hemming’s own work.- especially his early 70’s "Conquest of the Incas".
Further details, biographies, etc.Edit
(The purpose of this section is to offer relevant information about the work of specialists in the field. The section relies on the authors themselves or those who have a close knowledge of their work to supply and edit information - click "Edit this page". The section can include authors who are not attending but whose work is relevant.)
Professor Willem Adelaar confirms the complexity of language dispersal in the Andes and "tells of the remote highland redoubts where the tongues of pre-conquest cultures – Moche, Tiwanaku, Uro and others – still cling on to the very last word". If you still believe that the only language of the Andes was Quechua, think again. Quechua itself is a family of many variants (perhaps as many as 30, depending on how finely you split languages). Prof. Adelaar did his initial research on the Quechua of the Tarma area in Peru. The title of Willem Adelaar's talk is 'Linguistic Oddities of the Andes’. In the introduction to their book Adelaar and Muysken comment of the 'curious' failure to develop an indigenous writing system in spite of the early parallel development of most of the other attributes of complex societies.
They also provide an up-dated view of the complexity of the distribution of language families in South America.
Not in the British Museum programme, another specialist on Quechua and education & research in Quechua is Cesar Itier (a/o) of the INALCO institute in Paris. His overview of Andean languages is useful. (See next paragraph. The distinguished French output on the Andes still does not have the hearing it should in the Anglophone world.)
Cusco, the Incas and QuechuaEdit
(From Itier, C. EnterText article. Reference below.) From the sixteenth century until about the 1960s, that’s to say when modern linguistics began to be applied to the Andean languages, the Quechua spoken in Cuzco was always considered the most “typical, genuine, original and pure.” It was believed that it was the Incas who had spread Quechua the length and breadth of the Andes and that in the process the “original Cuzco Quechua” had been modified on contact with the other languages, which in turn came to be replaced by Quechua. This traditional vision has been successfully challenged by the works of linguists from the 1960s onwards, which have shown that the expansion of Quechua throughout the Andes is very much more ancient than the Inca period and its initial “focus of expansion” is not in any way Cuzco. Because of that one cannot talk objectively of a Quechua more genuine than another, “more Quechua” than another, less still talk about Cuzco Quechua as “purer” when it has received more influence from the Aymara language than any other Quechua “dialect.” <for the rest of the article see http://arts.brunel.ac.uk/gate/entertext/2_2_pdfs/itier.pdf>
This section needs further information. 
The symposium programmeEdit
The complete programme is as follows: ‘THE PREHISTORY OF THE ANDES’ TUESDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2008. Sackler Rooms (changed to BP lecture theatre but confirm) , The British Museum, London WC1 (nearest tubes Tottenham Court Road, Holborn).Always refer to British Museum original information http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar/the_prehistory_of_the_andes.aspx for confirmation of time and place as this can be altered
- 10.00 am Dr Colin McEwan: Welcome by the Head of Americas Section, BM.
- 10.15 am Professor Willem Adelaar, ‘Linguistic Oddities of the Andes’. The eminent author of Languages of the Andes tells of the remote highland redoubts where the tongues of pre-conquest cultures –Moche, Tiwanaku, Uro and others – still cling on to the very last word.
- 11.00 am Professor Peter Kaulicke, ‘Origins of Social Complexity in Ancient Peru’. The leading archaeologist brings to life some of the oldest cultures in the Americas, the revolutionary discoveries of pre-ceramic cities such as Caral of Peru’s Norte Chico.
- 12.00 noon Professor William Isbell, ’The Middle Horizon, Wari and Tiwanaku’. The word’s foremost scholar of the ‘Middle Horizon’ describes his amazing new excavations, that overturn accepted views of the relationship of Wari in Peru and the great ruins of Tiwanaku in the Bolivian altiplano.
- 2.15 pm Dr David Beresford-Jones and Dr Paul Heggarty, ‘Towards a coherent Prehistory for the Andean Peoples: Bringing together the Archaeological and Linguistic Stories’. Two outstanding archaeologist-linguists survey the linguistic landscape of the Andes to explode poplar myths about the origins of Quechua and Aymara, and advance a radical new scenario for the prehistory of the Andean peoples.
- 3.00 pm Professor Rodolfo Cerrón- Palomino, ‘Unravelling the Enigma of the ‘Secret Language of the Incas’’. The eminent Andean linguist and prolific author unravels the hidden meanings in how the Incas named places - Cuzco, Vilcanota, Ollantaytambo - huacas and ceques, giving beguiling clues to their origin myths, conflicts, and a perhaps-distant homeland.
- 4.00 pm Dr John Hemming, ‘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.
Always refer to British Museum original information http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar/the_prehistory_of_the_andes.aspx for confirmation of time and place as this can be altered.
Please add content to this guide to the work of these specialists by editing this page. Please login first using your actual name (or your user name). Click Discussion to record a comment or question about this article.
- ↑ Quipus, ceramics and textiles amongst other items contain records from pre-hispanic periods and as such facilitate an interpretation of history. The jury is still out regarding the use of the quipu (khipu) as a form of writing system. The British Museum hosted a talk two years ago by Gary Urton which touched on this topic. Urton currently runs the best-funded project on the quipu. See the Khipu Database Project(Gary Urton / Harvard University) http://khipukamayuq.fas.harvard.edu/
- ↑ Because, by definition, there are no 'written' records from prehistoric times, (or at least there are none known to still exist down to this day) the information we know about the time period is informed by the fields of paleontology, biology, palynology (e.g. the study of the use of plants / grains in ancient cultures), geology, archaeoastronomy, anthropology, archaeology and other natural and social sciences. In societies where the introduction of writing is relatively recent, oral histories, knowledge of the past handed down from generation to generation, contain records of "prehistoric" times. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory)
- ↑ Prof Adelaar has written jointly 'The Languages of the Andes' (Cambridge Language Surveys 2004). Ref - Willem F. H. Adelaar and Pieter C. Muysken (Hardcover - 10 Jun 2004) See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/052136275X/ref=sib_dp_pt/203-8561415-3052747#reader-page for accessible pages (resticted but give a flavour of his approach)
- ↑ Quoted from the British Museum programme
(a/o) accents ommitted, so as not to corrupt text when transferring. Continued in Word doc Minka29August2008_prehistory_BMuseum