An Archaeology of Ancash: Stones, Ruins and Communities in Andean Peru

Research output: Book/ReportBook


An Archaeology of Ancash is a well–illustrated synthesis of the archaeology of North Central Peru, and specifically the stone structures of the Ancash region. All the major cultures of highland Ancash built impressive monuments, with no other region of South America showing such an early and continuous commitment to stone carving. Drawing on Lau’s extensive experience as an archaeologist in highland Peru, this book reveals how ancient groups of the Central Andes have used stone as both a physical and symbolic resource, uncovering the variety of experiences and meanings which marked the region’s special engagement with this material.

An abundant raw resource in the Andes, stone was used for monuments, sculptures and other valuables such as carved monoliths, which were crucial to the emergence of civilization in the region, and religious objects from magical charms to ancestor effigies. Detailing the ways stone has played both an everyday and an extraordinary part in ancient social life, Lau also examines how cultural dispositions towards this fundamental material have changed over time and considers how contemporary engagements with these stone remains have the potential to create and regenerate communities. With an ample selection of color photos which bring these sites and artifacts to life, An Archaeology of Ancash is an essential guide to the key monuments, places and objects that distinguish this region and its rich archaeological heritage.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon and New York
Number of pages258
ISBN (Print)9781138898998
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2016


  • archaeology
  • Andes
  • South America
  • antiquities
  • monuments
  • materiality
  • art history
  • Recuay
  • Wari
  • Inca
  • stone
  • lithics
  • prehistory
  • Americas
  • Chavín
  • religion
  • Pre-Columbian
  • Precolumbian
  • ritual
  • identity
  • community
  • polity

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