The Past Ahead





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The Past Ahead – Language, Culture, and Identity in the Neotropics

Christian Isendahl

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In Andean cognition the embodiment of the past is different from many other ways to spatially relate the position of the body to time. This epistemology is for instance expressed in the Quechua word ñawpa, which signifies that the past is “in front of us;” it is known and can be seen. Seeing and knowing the past in this way reverberates within the historical ecological argument that the present is contingent with the past and is explicitly reflected within the contributions to this volume. “The Past Ahead: Language, Culture, and Identity in the Neotropics” forms a collection of reworked papers originally presented in shorter format by archaeologists, anthropologists, and linguists at the research symposium “Archaeology and Society in Bolivia” organized at Uppsala University bythe editor. The volume includes chapters by Jan-Åke Alvarsson, Lisbet Bengtsson, Roger Blench,Sergio Calla, Christian Isendahl, Carla Jaimes, John Janusek, Adriana Muñoz, Heiko Prümers,Walter Sánchez, Per Stenborg, Juan Marcelo Ticona, and Charlotta Widmark examining a series of different aspects of agriculture, complex societies, identities, landscape, languages, and urbanism in the highland and lowland Neotropics that all highlight the significance of the past in the present.