An Analysis of the Documentary Black Gold using the Theoretic Works of W.E.B Du Bois

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Thousands of years before the rule of the Inca, the Tiwanaku civilization emerged from the southern shores of Lake Titicaca and reached across the borders of present day Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The city of Tiwananku is recognized by many Andean scholars as a major center of political, economic, and religious life, and is marked as one of the most important civilizations of the pre-Colombian Americas. Reaching its height from 500 to 900A.D, only its impressive stone monuments remain as evidence of their influence that are now protected archaeological sites. Author John Wayne Janusek is associate professor of anthropology at Vanderblit University and has conducted extensive archaeological research in the Andes for the past two decades. On the topic of the ancient Tiwanaku, Janusek attempts to gather a wealth of past and current research to explore the civilization in its geological and cultural setting, along with its raise and violent fall to power, and its vast political influence. The author approaches the information in the novel from a theoretical approach that highlights the importance of the Tiwanaku’s environmental settings, the mundane daily life of its citizens, its extensive economic ventures, and religious prestige. In the concluding segments of the book, Janusek argues that the study of the Andean past can shed light on current national ideologies and geopolitics worldwide. The novel itself is divided into nine chapters, of which there are sub-segments that aid the author in addressing specific concepts in the chapter. Chapter one is entitled, “Unveiling Tiwanaku’s Mystery” and details the history of the archaeological research conducted on the civilization, as well as an overview of their cultural development. The a... ... middle of paper ... ...ression of data found in the area and an expansion of what is yet to be uncovered. The illustrations, maps, and contemporary photographs help to solidify the existing research presented in the book. These pros aside, I did find a fault in his reliance on the Tiwanaku as the main source of influence in both their artwork and those of the Wari. Although he does briefly mention Wari influences in the art styles found in Moquegua, yet this influence might have extended further into the Tiwanaku center because of the interactions and exchange between the two cultures. Despite this minor fault, in my opinion, this book serves as a great introduction for those interested in the antiquity of Tiwankau, providing a benchmark for a new generation of Andean scholars. Works Cited Janusek, J. Wayne. 2008 Ancient Tiwanaku. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, England

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