Panoramic Image of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, Photographer: Rubyk
Panoramic Image of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, Photographer: Rubyk


Some important works:


Chavín de Huántar. Northern highlands, Peru. Chavín. 900–200 B.C.E. Stone (architectural complex); granite (Lanzón and sculpture); hammered gold alloy (jewelry).

Mesa Verde

Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, Photo © 2003 Jacob Rus
Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, Photo © 2003 Jacob Rus

Mesa Verde cliff dwellings. Montezuma County, Colorado. Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi). 450–1300 C.E. Sandstone.

Mesa Verde National Park/UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • These are not the only examples of cliff dwellings in the American Southwest.
    • Read more about different sites here.


Ancient Ruins in the Canon de Chile, in a Niche Fifty Feet Above Present Canon Bed, Timothy H. Sullivan, 1873, from J. Paul Getty Museum

Mesa Verde Photo Gallery, National Park Service



Yaxchilán. Chiapas, Mexico. Maya. 725 C.E. Limestone (architectural complex).

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Serpent Mound


Great Serpent Mound. Adams County, southern Ohio. Mississippian (Eastern Woodlands). c. 1070 C.E. Earthwork/effigy mound.

Multimedia.pngGreat Serpent Mound




Templo Mayor (Main Temple). Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City, Mexico). Mexica (Aztec). 1375–1520 C.E. Stone (temple); volcanic stone (The Coyolxauhqui Stone); jadeite (Olmec-style mask); basalt (Calendar Stone).

Multimedia.png Ruler’s feather headdress (probably of Motecuhzoma II). Mexica (Aztec). 1428–1520 C.E. Feathers (quetzal and cotinga) and gold.


Walls of Cusco

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Multimedia.png City of Cusco, including Qorikancha (Inka main temple), Santo Domingo (Spanish colonial convent), and Walls at Saqsa Waman (Sacsayhuaman). Central highlands, Peru. Inka. c. 1440 C.E; convent added 1550–1650 C.E. Andesite.

Saksaywaman, Cusco

Inca Art, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History




Maize cobs. Inka. c. 1440–1533 C.E. Sheet metal/repoussé, metal alloys.

Machu Picchu


City of Machu Picchu. Central highlands, Peru. Inka. c. 1450–1540 C.E. Granite (architectural complex).
  • View extremely high-resolution images of Machu Picchu here and here.

Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 12.30.24 PM.pngMachu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, Peabody Museum of Natural History


All-T’oqapu tunic. Inka. 1450–1540 C.E. Camelid fiber and cotton.

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Bandolier bag. Lenape (Delaware tribe, Eastern Woodlands). c. 1850 C.E. Beadwork on leather.

Transformation mask. Kwakwaka’wakw, Northwest coast of Canada. Late 19th century C.E. Wood, paint, and string.

Painted elk hide. Attributed to Cotsiogo (Cadzi Cody), Eastern Shoshone, Wind River Reservation, Wyoming. c. 1890–1900 C.E. Painted elk hide.

Black-on-black ceramic vessel. Maria Martínez and Julian Martínez, Tewa, Puebloan, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico. c. mid-20th century C.E. Blackware ceramic.

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Some texts to consider:


book.pngCathy Costin, "Hybrid Objects, Hybrid Social Identities: Style and Social Structure in the Late Horizon Andes," University of Calgary, 2011.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 3.13.34 PM.pngHistorical Connections

For information on pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas,