A major contribution to both art history and Latin American studies| “A Culture of Stone” offers sophisticated new insights into Inka culture and the interpretation of non-Western art. Carolyn Dean focuses on rock outcrops masterfully integrated into Inka architecture| exquisitely worked masonry| and freestanding sacred rocks| explaining how certain stones took on lives of their own and played a vital role in the unfolding of Inka history. Examining the multiple uses of stone| she argues that the Inka understood building in stone as a way of ordering the chaos of unordered nature| converting untamed spaces into domesticated places| and laying claim to new territories. Dean contends that understanding what the rocks signified requires seeing them as the Inka saw them: as potentially animate| sentient| and sacred. Through careful analysis of Inka stonework| colonial-period accounts of the Inka| and contemporary ethnographic and folkloric studies of indigenous Andean culture| Dean reconstructs the relationships between stonework and other aspects of Inka life| including imperial expansion| worship| and agriculture. She also scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by the colonial Spanish and| later| by tourism and the tourist industry. “A Culture of Stone “is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and comprehend the Inka past.