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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Inca society of the 15th and early 16th centuries AD is known from written sources and archaeological remains in the Cuzco area (Central Andes, southern highlands of Peru). In order to understand the complexity of their powerful rulers a close reading of the sources is needed, as well as a critical evaluation of the material culture. In this chapter the logic of ritual centred in the ruling Inca is explained and extended to his world. During life he prepares for his role as a future ancestor and after death he joins his predecessors, who guarantee the welfare of their society in never-ending cycles which depend on the permanent attention of the survivors and, of course, the new Inca. Archaeological data seem to confirm this concept.

Keywords: death, memory, landscape, cosmology, ancestrality, ritual

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