Two photos of vernacular houses. Top photo shows a beehive-shaped structure made of mud bricks in a yellowed grassy field. Bottom photo shows two round thatched huts set against dense trees.

“A theoretically sophisticated and data-rich discussion of households and architecture in the Andes. This is a must-have for any Andeanist library.”—Charles Stanish, author of The Evolution of Human Co-operation: Ritual and Social Complexity in Stateless Societies

“Moore shines a bright light on the essential nature of houses as physical structures and as social entities that perform symbolic work in acculturation and political engagements. The many case studies he details, ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological, are an invaluable source for approaching the study of households in the Andes and beyond.”—Donna Nash, University of North Carolina at Greensboro  

“In this thoughtfully researched and richly layered study, Moore brings his decades of archaeological and ethnoarchaeological fieldwork to bear on Andean houses, their construction, the lives lived in them, and their archaeological afterlives.”—Jason Toohey, University of Wyoming  

In Ancient Andean Houses: Making, Inhabiting, Studying, Jerry Moore offers an extensive survey of vernacular architecture from across the entire length of the Andes, drawing on ethnographic and archaeological information from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia to the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile. This book explores the diverse ways ancient peoples made houses, the ways houses re-create culture, and new perspectives and methods for studying houses.

In the first part of this multidimensional approach, Moore examines the construction of houses and how they shaped different spheres of household life, considering commonalities and variations among cultural traditions. In the second part, Moore discusses how domestic architecture serves as both constructed template and lived-in environment, expressing social relationships between men and women, adults and children, household members and the community, and the living and the dead. Finally, Moore critiques archaeological approaches to the subject, arguing for a far-reaching and engaged reassessment of how we study the houses and lives of people in the past.

Moore emphasizes that the house has always been a pivotal space around which complex human meanings orbit. This book demonstrates that the material traces of dwellings offer insight into significant questions regarding the development of sedentism, the spread of cultural traditions, and the emergence of social identities and inequalities.  
Jerry D. Moore is professor of anthropology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is the author of many books, including The Prehistory of Home, winner of the Society for American Archaeology Book Award.

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