This book provides an introduction to one of the most fascinating and well--known centers of ancient civilization. * Explores the rise of civilization in the Central Andes from the time of the regiona s earliest inhabitants to the emergence of the Inca state many thousands of years later. * Comprised of 13 newly commissioned chapters written by leading archaeologists representing current thinking in the field. * Presents the central debates in contemporary Inca and Andean archaeology. * Progresses chronologically and culturally to reveal the processes by which multiple Andean societies became increasingly complex.