Sunday May 22, 2016
Manipulation has been driving innovation for ages
This story first aired in May 2016.
We've all had those days at work where we've had a disagreement with our boss and maybe, just maybe, thought: who put you in charge anyway? Well, you may have to look to prehistoric archaeology to find the answer.
The real lesson of Chavín for the present day is, to understand what we don't understand. And that is, where did our types of society come from? - John Rick
The more than 3,000-year-old site was a ceremonial religious centre for the Andean world. It's an elaborate temple complex that includes an intriguing maze of underground galleries.
John's research suggests that Chavín society was ruled by an elaborate priesthood. He's found evidence that suggests visitors to the site were subjected to magical displays of power involving the manipulation of light, water, and sound.
John believes the labyrinthine passages and mystical performance spaces at the site of Chavín de Huántar provide clues about the origins of authority in our society. And, the history of authority and power in turn tells us a lot about innovation and technological change.