Defying many of the supposed rules of civilization building, and lacking the advantages of a written language, hard metals, the wheel, or draught animals, the Incas forged one of the greatest imperial states in history. They were isolated in a forbidding landscape and lacking in what many would consider some essential components of progress (writing, iron, the wheel, trading markets). Yet the Incas created one of the most influential and innovative empires the world has ever seen, demonstrating an astonishing mastery of engineering, mathematics, astronomy, agriculture, medicine, politics, and more. The Incas: New Perspectives offers a revealing portrait of the ancient Andean empire from the earliest stages of its development to its final capitulation to Pizzarro in the mid-16th century. In recent years researchers have employed new tools to get to the heart of the mysterious Inca culture. Drawing on recent work in archaeology, anthropology, ethnohistory, and other sources, The Incas provides the most up-to-date interpretations of Inca culture, religion, politics, economics, and daily life available. Readers will discover how the Incas discovered medicines still in use and kept records using knotted cords; how Incan builders created masterful highways and stone bridges; and how the inhabitants of seemingly unfarmable lands came to give the world potatoes, beans, corn, squashes, tomatoes, avocados, peanuts, and peppers.