History of the Inca Civilization

ISA Cusco Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of the Inca Civilization

  • Host University

    ISA Cusco Study Center

  • Location

    Cusco, Peru

  • Area of Study

    History, Latin American Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course will be taught in English.
    The course has a total of 45 teaching hours spent in 30 sessions of 90 minutes.
    This class is a survey of the prehistory of the Peruvian region and the processes that contributed to the rise of the Inca Empire in the fourteenth century. The first part of this class is devoted to understanding the Pre-Inca societies and the different responses and adaptations that took place in history. In the second section we will discuss the origins of sociocultural complexity, the rise of states and empires, interregional contacts and relationships, conquest and colonialism, and urbanism, among other relevant topics. The final component of the class will look in detail at the rise of the Inca Empire, its political economy, sociopolitical life and relationships with other Andean polities, and rituals, through its fall under Spanish rule. We will draw on archaeological, ethno historical and ethnographic sources.
    • Discuss and understand primary and secondary sources that shed light upon any aspect of the Andean history.
    • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the origins of complex societies, and the roles that their rituals and economic life had on the pre-Hispanic Andes.
    • Analyze the synchronism of Pre-Colonial societies in the Cusco region.
    • Develop an argument about a not well known archeological site in the Cusco region and discuss its history, academic potential and its possible impacts on tourism.
    There are no requirements for this class
    All reading materials will be distributed electronically in Cusco. No books are required for this class. The titles listed below are resources for the reading that will be distributed.
    • D Altroy, Terence. 2014. The Incas. Blackwell ISBN: 9781444331158
    • Julien, Catherine. 2002. Reading Inca History. University of Iowa Press ISBN: 9780877457251
    • Peace Franklin. 2011. The Incas. ISBN: 9972429490, 9789972429491
    • Helaine Silverman, William Isbell. 2008. Handbook of South American Archaeology. ISBN: 0387749071, 9780387749075

    Attendance and participation                     10 %

    Assignments                                                      10 %

    Final Paper                                                          40 %

    Mid term                                                             20 %

    Final Exam                                                           20 %

    Attendance requirements for this class follow the ISA-Cusco Handbook: Regular attendance in class is required of all ISA students; however, students will be allowed 3 unexcused absences per course. For every additional unexcused absence, 5 points will be deducted from the student's overall grade. If a student accumulates more than 5 unexcused absences, he/she will be placed on academic probation and their home university will be notified. In the event of an emergency or illness, students should petition for an excused absence from their professor with the appropriate documentation within a week of the absence. In the event of an excused absence, students will be expected to confer with their professor(s) regarding the possibility of making up any missed coursework, homework and/or exams. In the event of an unexcused absence students are responsible for any missed coursework and notes, but late homework will not be accepted. The third time a student is more than 10 minutes late to class; it will be considered an unexcused absence.
    For the final paper each student will choose an archeological site that is not well developed and discuss its history, academic potential and its possible impacts on tourism. A list of possible sites will be distributed during week one but the student may choose another site with the authorization of the professor. On week four the student must turn in a proposed topic and list of references consulted previously. The papers should not exceed twelve (12) pages or be shorter than ten (10) pages, not including references, images or tables. They should be typed in Times New Roman, 12-point font, and double spaced.
    The final presentation will be based on the student?s final paper and focused on the analysis of their research. The students are able to use PowerPoint or any other media approved by the professor. The presentation will not exceed than 15 minutes and will not be shorter than 10 minutes.
    The final exam will be administered during class time on the date noted in the class schedule. The exam will review the entire course. The exam will be graded out of 100%. Rescheduling of exams will not be accepted except in cases of documented unforeseeable emergencies. Traveling and fieldwork do not qualify as such; please, plan accordingly.
    Late papers will not be accepted except in cases of unforeseeable emergencies. The same policy applies for granting extensions. Traveling and fieldwork do not qualify as such. The syllabus schedule will be held to; please plan accordingly.
    I will thoroughly prosecute and report any cases of academic misconduct. Plagiarism is an unquestionable violation of the academic integrity that every college student should be committed to. Papers that present clear evidence of plagiarism will automatically earn and ?F?, and in most cases will represent a final failing grade. Other unacceptable cases of academic misconduct may include (but are not limited to) creating hazards or disruptions in class, taking advantage of your peers? work, or disrespecting your classmates even when participating in a discussion. Please refer to your college?s conduct system and/or honor code for further guidance on academic integrity.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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