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The influence of Amazonia on state formation in the ancient Andes

  • Darryl Wilkinson (a1)

The impact of Amazonia on the history and development of late prehistoric (c. AD 500–1500) Andean highland polities has been largely ignored. This article considers how shifting exchange relations between Amazonia and the Andes may have greatly influenced state-formation processes. It is argued that Arawak expansion in the Amazonian lowlands, completed by c. AD 500, was a prerequisite development for stimulating the rise of Andean highland empires, which were heavily dependent upon imported prestige Amazonian feathers. Future research directions are suggested in order to enhance our understanding of late prehistoric state formation in the Americas.

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