Andrew James Hamilton's new book, Scale and the Incas, begins by situating scale—and assumptions concerning its interpretation—as not only inevitably relational but also socially constructed. This process is made more precarious by a move from the ancient past to the present, as in the case of the opening discussion, which ranges from the Andes to Harvard's Peabody Museum. Hamilton focuses in particular on the creation of reduced-scale objects as a persistent practice throughout the Andean world but notes that scale was not necessarily manipulated or understood in the same ways throughout that world. Scale was what he terms a “recursive mode of expression” (6), one that linked...

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