"The earliest settlers arrived in South America more than 12,000 years ago. They and their descendants populated and adapted to South America's varied geographic regions - from the continent's vast grasslands of central Argentina to the large river basins of the Amazon, and from the high Andean mountains to Tierra del Fuego (the end of the world). Many civilizations, like the Inca and the Wari, made South America their home." "This Historical Dictionary of Ancient South America describes the indigenous peoples who lived in South America prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. It contains a chronology; an introductory essay; a bibliography; and more than 700 cross-referenced dictionary entries on names of sites, archaeological groups or cultures, architectural elements, deities, crops, and famous archaeologists who have worked in South America."--BOOK JACKET.