The Early Modern Invention of the Ancient Andes

Juan Carlos Mantilla, M.Phil

My research project is a comparative interdisciplinary study of the creation of Early Modern historical knowledge about the Ancient Indigenous Americas. It analyzes the revolutionary theoretical and creative practices that Early Modern scholars and artists developed to imagine the Ancient Americas as part of a wider Ancient world. This research focuses on the practices of acquisition, theorization and imagining of historical data about the Indigenous Americas understanding their cultures as “ancient”. Integrating non-written Pre-Columbian buildings, and Indigenous narratives with Biblical and Classical erudition, the invention of the Ancient Americas demonstrated how the so-called New World was as full of history as the Old.

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