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Edwin Barnhart Ph.D.

Edwin Barnhart Ph.D. >

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South America's Lost Cradle of Civilization
Episode 1 of Lost Worlds of South America
Consider the remarkable evidence for South America as one of the true wellsprings of human civilization. Grasp the diversity of early South American cultures, from the Andean civilizations to the desert and Amazon regions; what these cultures shared; and their…
Discovering Peru’s Earliest Cities
Episode 2 of Lost Worlds of South America
The first cities in the Americas date to 3000 B.C. Investigate the means of subsistence of coastal and inland valley cities, and evidence for trade in marine and agricultural products. Learn about the sites of Kotosh, El Paraiso, and Caral…
South America’s First People
Episode 3 of Lost Worlds of South America
The earliest evidence of humans in the Americas comes not from North America, but from Chile. Investigate the important Monte Verde site and its view into everyday life 15,000 years ago. Learn also about "Quilcas" cave art, the astonishing Chinchorro…
The Moche—Drugs, Sex, Music, and Puppies
Episode 11 of Lost Worlds of South America
This episode investigates the dramatic iconography seen on Moche ceramics. First, learn about the complex rituals and practices of modern South American shamanism. Then study images on Moche pottery usually interpreted as depicting victory in war, and indications that they…
Chavín and the Rise of Religious Authority
Episode 5 of Lost Worlds of South America
The Peruvian site of Chavin marks the emergence of religion as the focus of public art. Study Chavin's distinctive architecture, with images of its characteristic "fanged deity." Learn about later religious iconography and artifacts at Chavin suggesting that it was…
The Inca Origins—Mythology v. Archaeology
Episode 17 of Lost Worlds of South America
Begin your study of the great Inca civilization by tracing the culture's origin myth, featuring a creator deity who made the cosmos and charged the Inca to found a kingdom in a fertile valley. Compare the mythology with archaeological evidence…
The Moche—Pyramids, Gold, and Warriors
Episode 9 of Lost Worlds of South America
In the first of three episodes on the Andean Moche culture, chart this civilization's outstanding features. Discover the immense pyramids, adorned with brilliant color murals, road systems, and sophisticated art. Examine the evidence of extensive warfare, both in the art…
The Nazca Lines and Underground Channels
Episode 8 of Lost Worlds of South America
The Nazca are yet another South American people of striking accomplishments. Learn about their remarkable irrigation system of underground aquifers, aqueducts, and wells, and their fine polychrome pottery and textiles. Penetrate the mystery of the "Nazca Lines," massive geoglyphs scratched…
Cuzco and the Tawantinsuyu Empire
Episode 18 of Lost Worlds of South America
The city of Cuzco stands as the supreme achievement in architecture and aesthetics of pre-Columbian South America. Study the city's astounding features, such as its hydraulic engineering, anti-seismic construction, and its perfectly fitting stonework that defies explanation. Learn also about…
Enigmatic Tiwanaku by Lake Titicaca
Episode 12 of Lost Worlds of South America
Lake Titicaca is the site of one of South America's most impressive civilizations. Discover the huge urban complex of Tiwanaku and its cultural connections to Chavin de Huantar. Explore Tiwanaku's mysterious architecture and its "raised field" agriculture, an engineering feat…
The Moche—Richest Tombs in the New World
Episode 10 of Lost Worlds of South America
The Moche tombs offer compelling evidence of the culture's social structure and cosmology. Investigate the sumptuous contents of the three principal tombs of Sipan--the enigmatic buried figures and dazzling costumes, jewelry, and surrounding objects. Contemplate who these buried people might…
Ceramics, Textiles, and Organized States
Episode 4 of Lost Worlds of South America
Observe pivotal changes in northern Peruvian societies in 1800-900 B.C., such as the architectural styles of the southern and northern valleys, which indicate the rise of a state identity. Note the area's earliest evidence of metallurgy and weaving, and stone…
The Inca—From Raiders to Empire
Episode 19 of Lost Worlds of South America
In charting the rise of Inca civilization, follow the pivotal reign of Pachacuti, the 9th Inca, whose vision to unify the Andes led to large-scale conquest. Learn how his heir, Tupac, doubled the imperial territories, and how the empire was…
The Amazon—Civilization Lost in the Jungle
Episode 13 of Lost Worlds of South America
Recent discoveries indicate the presence of massive ancient civilizations in the Amazon. Survey the evidence, starting with the Beni region's elaborate systems of mounds, causeways, and canals. Continue with the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, noting wide areas of human-enriched soil,…
The Inca—Gifts of the Empire
Episode 20 of Lost Worlds of South America
As a glimpse into how the empire functioned so effectively, learn about the Mit'a, a system of labor taxation, noting the services subjects provided to the empire and how they benefited in return. Grasp the Inca's ingenious technology of road…
Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley
Episode 22 of Lost Worlds of South America
The mountainside complex of Machu Picchu was a royal estate of Pachacuti, the 9th Inca. Walk the site, entering at the Sun Gate, and explore the causeways, terraces, and many rooms of undetermined function. Study the solar-aligned Torreon and other…
The Wari—Foundations of the Inca Empire?
Episode 14 of Lost Worlds of South America
Here, track the remarkable innovations of the Wari culture, highlighting its walled cities, paved road systems, large-scale livestock herding, and ingenious form of terraced agriculture. Examine the evidence of satellite communities of the Wari and the question of whether Wari…
Paracas—Mummies, Shamans, and Severed Heads
Episode 7 of Lost Worlds of South America
Investigate the fascinating Paracas tombs of the 1st millennium B.C., which contain richly adorned mummies, and grasp the significance of mummification. Study the elaborate iconography of Paracas textiles, the meaning of the supernatural beings they depict, and the practice of…
Remnants of the Past—Andean Culture Today
Episode 24 of Lost Worlds of South America
The Andean civilizations have left a remarkable legacy in the modern world. Investigate the many ways in which contemporary peoples in South America maintain ancient ways of life, seen in agriculture, community organization, traditional lifestyles, and astronomical and religious observances,…
Spanish Contact—Pizarro Conquers the Inca
Episode 23 of Lost Worlds of South America
In one of history's most unusual incidents, the Inca empire was defeated by a Spanish force of 168 men. Study the events surrounding the capture and demise of Atahualpa--the last true Inca ruler--the destructive conquest by Francisco Pizarro, and the…