The glories of Inca and Pre-Columbian South America are vividly captured in this richly illustrated story of the rise and fall of the people of the region. The civilization's superbly imaginative craftsmanship in gold and silver, its beautiful textiles, embroidery, ceramics, and architecture are featured in spectacular color photography. Besides the magnificent artistic legacy that survived the ravages of the Conquistadors in the sixteenth century, this lavish volume celebrates the beliefs, deities, myth making, empire building, and often turbulent history that were the foundation of the artwork and literature. Some of the most dramatic sites of South America are featured, including Machu Picchu and Cuzco, the oracle at Pachacamac, the mysterious Nazca lines, and the imperial city of Chan Chan. Author Jeffrey Quilter, an anthropological archaeologist, is a specialist in Pre-Columbian culture, deputy director of the Peabody Museum, and a senior lecturer at Harvard University.