It was a covenant born of thirst, but within the Southern Cordillera, the deserts of the northwest and the rain shadow of the southeast have preserved well the imaginations of its first inhabitants. Their cultures have been fatally disrupted, first by the armed might and greed of the Incas and the Conquistadors, and then by the smothering embrace of the church. These dislocations, and the lack of prehistoric written languages, have left us with a far from complete understanding of the ancient symbols.
Even now that the importance of prehistoric artifacts is recognized, they are still being dug up by fortune hunters in Peru, mummies are being pried from frozen mountain tops, and rock art is being chipped away for souvenirs.
PREHISTORY HAS BEEN BROKEN DOWN INTO THE FOLLOWING PAGES