Nowhere on Earth is there an ecological transformation so swift and so extreme as between the snow line of the high Andes and the tropical rainforest of Amazonia. Because of that, the different disciplines that research the human past in South America have tended to treat these two great subzones of the continent as self-contained enough to be studied independently of each other. Objections to that approach have repeatedly been raised, however, warning against imagining too sharp a divide between the people and societies of the Andes and Amazonia when there are clear indications of significant connections and transitions between them.
Rethinking the Andes-Amazonia Divide brings together archaeologists, linguists, geneticists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and historians to explore both correlations and contrasts in how the various disciplines see the relationship between the Andes and Amazonia, from deepest prehistory up to the European colonial period. This collaboration has emerged from an innovative program of conferences and symposia conceived to generate discussion and cooperation across the divides between disciplines.
Adrian J. Pearce is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American History at UCL. His research focuses on Spanish and British colonialism in the Americas, the native peoples of the Andes, and (most recently) the Falklands War of 1982. Since 2008, he has been a participant in the ongoing interdisciplinary project concerned with key issues of South American population prehistory of which this volume is the latest product. He has published British Trade with Spanish America, 1763-1808 (2007) and The Origins of Bourbon Reform in Spanish South America, 1700-1763 (2014), and co-edited History and Language in the Andes (2011).
David G. Beresford-Jones is a fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. For the past fifteen years, he has directed investigations into past human-environment interactions on the south coast of Peru. He also has interests in hunter-gatherer ecology, the transition to agriculture, archaeobotany, ancient fabric and textile technologies and cross-disciplinary synthesis. He is the author of The Lost Woodlands of Ancient Nasca (Oxford, 2011) and co-editor of Archaeology and Language in the Andes (Oxford, 2012) and Lenguas y Sociedades en el Antiguo Perú (Lima, 2011).
Paul Heggarty is a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. His research focus is on language (pre)history, aiming to ensure that the perspective from linguistics is better understood outside that field, to contribute to a more coherent, cross-disciplinary vision of the past. He works closely with archaeologists, geneticists and historians, especially on the expansion histories of the main language families of the Andes: Quechua and Aymara. Since 2008 he has convened, along with his co-editors of this book, a series of nine interdisciplinary conferences and symposia on the Andean past.