Andean Highlands - Cultural Landscapes

View of the stonework of Machu Picchu

Image: A view of the unequalled stonework of Machu Picchu, the Inka city built into the mountain peaks of the southern region of the central Andes. Photo: Roxane Shaughnessy.

The nature of the landscape affects how people settle and organize their lives. Communities are defined and shaped by their area's geography and resources, and the ways people use them to survive. The distinct opportunities and challenges in the Andean Highlands defined the societies that developed there, and set them apart from cultures in other parts of ancient Peru.

These links will introduce you to the intriguing political landscape, punctuated by cultures whose influence or military might dominated the lives of every ancient highlander. The religious beliefs of the millions of indigenous people were woven into the very fabric of the various political systems. Beliefs that played a central role in the very way they understood the world, known as their worldview.