This little book by a well-known Argentine scholar and archaeologist comes to fill a need long felt by students of South American archaelogy and history. As the author points out, the study of Bolivian archaelogy has been dominated for too long by the idea that most of its remains belong either to Tiahuanaco or to the Incas, and he manages successfully to combat this idea.
The author begins with an introductory chapter in which he places all findings so far known within the framework of modern South American archaeology and attempts to dispel the misconceptions held especially in Bolivia and South America. In successive chapters he summarizes descriptively most of the findings made in Bolivia and orders them in a chronological and cultural sequence, pointing out their probable relationships to the northern Andes and to Argentina. This summary reveals patient years of research in the library, visits to the sites, and occasional diggings. It derives also from private collections and correspondence, and all sources are interpreted with necessary caution.
The theoretical orientation which he follows is in general accord with the dominant trends in interpretation of South American archaeology and prehistory. Probably very few will quarrel with it, except perhaps with his assertions that there has been a diffusion of culture from the Old World by way of the Pacific Ocean (pp. 24-25), and probably influences from Maya culture in the temple structures of Tiahuanaco (p. 157).
The book is illustrated by a series of fairly clear pictures, some good drawings, and a chronological chart of cultures, but a map would have increased its usefulness. As it is, it will probably be for a long time an indispensable manual for this little-known area of South America.