Peruvian Ancient Cultures
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian territory was inhabited 14,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers. Subsequent developments include the appearance of sedentary communities that developed agriculture and irrigation, and the emergence of complex socio-political hierarchies that created sophisticated civilizations, technology and monumental construction.

Andean cultural formations

  • According to some, lithics found in the caves of Piquimachay (Ayacucho
    Ayacucho is the capital city of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru.Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches, which represent one for each year of Jesus's life. Ayacucho has large religious celebrations, especially during the Holy Week of Easter...

    ), Chivateros
    Chivateros is a cave in the Lima Department of Peru. There are archeological remains that show evidence of ancient Peruvian cultures that existed over 20,000 years ago....

    , Lauricocha
    Lauricocha Culture
    Lauricocha Culture is a sequence of Preceramic cultural periods in Peru's history, spanning about 5,000 years from c. 8000 to 2500 BCE.The total prehistoric sequence in Peru spans 15,000 years, starting at about 13,000 BC when the first gatherer-hunter societies left their traces in the Ayacucho...

    , Paijan, and Toquepala
    Toquepala Caves
    The Toquepala caves are located 154 kilometres from the city of Tacna, Peru in the western Andes at an altitude of 2,700 metres above sea level. The caves are 10 metres deep, 5 metres wide and 3 metres high...

     provide the evidence for the date.
  • The oldest securely dated remains appear in 10000 BCE in the Guitarrero Cave
    Guitarrero Cave
    Guitarrero Cave is located in the Callejon de Huaylas valley in Yungay Province, in the Ancash region of Peru. The cave stands 50 meters above Rio Santa and 2,580 meters above sea level.-Archeological findings:...

    , Yungay
    Yungay may refer to:*Chile**Yungay, Chile in Ñuble Province*Peru**Yungay Province**Yungay District**Yungay, Peru...

    , then in the coast (in the districts of Chilca
    Chilca District, Cañete
    Chilca District is one of sixteen districts of the province Cañete in Peru.-References:...

     and Paracas
    Paracas District
    Paracas District is one of eight districts of the province Pisco in Peru....

    ) and in the highlands (in the Callejón de Huaylas
    Callejón de Huaylas
    The Santa Valley is a inter-andean valley in the Ancash Region in the north-central highlands of Peru. Due to its location between two mountain ranges it is known as Callejón de Huaylas —Alley of Huaylas—, whereas Huaylas refers to the name of the territorial division's name during the Viceroyalty...

  • 3000 years later (7000 BCE), people became sedentary (Jiskairumoko
    Jiskairumoko is a pre-Columbian archaeological site south east of Puno, Peru. The site lies at 4,115 meters , in the Aymara community of Jachacachi, adjacent to the Ilave River drainage, of the Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru...

    , Kotosh
    Kotosh is an archaeological site near Huanuco containing a temple of the Late Archaic period. The site gave name to the Kotosh Religious Tradition, which existed in Peru in 2300—1200 BCE, i.e. in the Late Archaic period...

    , Huaca Prieta
    Huaca Prieta
    Huaca Prieta is the site of a prehistoric coastal settlement in the Chicama valley, Peru. Consisting of a huge midden mound, it was first excavated by Junius B. Bird in 1946–1947. The site is the remains of a pre-pottery culture that lived here from 3,100–1,300 BCE. The remains include a number of...

    ) so they began to cultivate plants such as maize
    Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

     and cotton
    Gossypium is the cotton genus. It belongs to the tribe Gossypieae, in the mallow family, Malvaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions from both the Old and New World. The genus Gossypium comprises around 50 species , making it the largest in species number in the tribe Gosssypioieae....

     (Gossypium barbadense) and herd newly domesticated animals (camelids, such as llamas and alpacas). Subsequent technical developments include innovations in spinning
    Spinning (textiles)
    Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

     and knitting
    Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

     of cotton and wool. There is also evidence for some basketry
    Basket weaving
    Basket weaving is the process of weaving unspun vegetable fibres into a basket or other similar form. People and artists who weave baskets are called basketmakers and basket weavers.Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials•anything that will bend and form a shape...

    , metalwork (gold beads) and the first potteries
    Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

     during this period.
  • Zaña Valley, northern Peru, irrigation
    Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

     canals have been dated to 5400 and 6700 years ago (3400 BCE and 5700 BCE) and show communal work.
  • Norte Chico civilization
    Norte Chico civilization
    The Norte Chico civilization was a complex pre-Columbian society that included as many as 30 major population centers in what is now the Norte Chico region of north-central coastal Peru...

     (Also known as the Caral-Supe civilization, nearly from 3,500 BCE to 1,800 BCE)"
  • Buena Vista, Peru
    Buena Vista, Peru
    Buena Vista is an 8 hectare archaeological site located in Peru about 25 miles inland in the Chillon River Valley and an hour's drive north of Lima. It is in the Santa Rosa de Quives District, Canta Province, in the foothills of the Andes. The site was first excavated by Frederic Engel...

    , 4200-year-old observatory
    An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

    , Lima Region
    Lima Region
    Lima Region, also known as Lima Provincias, is one of twenty-five regions of Peru. Located in the central coast of the country, its regional seat is Huacho....

     (2200 BCE)
  • Ventarrón
    Ventarrón is the site of a 4,000-year old temple with painted murals, which was excavated in Peru in 2007 in the Lambayeque region on the northern coast, north of Peru's capital of Lima...

    , 4000-year-old temple, Lambayeque Region
    Lambayeque Region
    Lambayeque is a region in northwestern Peru known for its rich Moche and Chimú historical past. The region's name originates from the ancient pre-Inca civilization of the Lambayeque.-Etymology:...

    , northern Peru (2000 BCE)
  • Chavin
    Chavín culture
    The Chavín were a civilization that developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from 900 BC to 200 BC. They extended their influence to other civilizations along the coast. The Chavín were located in the Mosna Valley where the Mosna and Huachecsa rivers merge...

     (900 BCE to 200 BCE)
  • Paracas
    Paracas culture
    The Paracas culture was an important Andean society between approximately 800 BCE and 100 BCE, with an extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management. It developed in the Paracas Peninsula, located in what today is the Paracas District of the Pisco Province in the Ica Region...

  • Moche
  • Nazca
  • Tiahuanaco
    Tiwanaku, is an important Pre-Columbian archaeological site in western Bolivia, South America. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five...

  • Wari
    Huari Culture
    The Wari were a Middle Horizon civilization that flourished in the south-central Andes and coastal area of modern-day Peru, from about CE 500 to 1000...

  • Chimu
    Chimú Culture
    The Chimú were the residents of Chimor, with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo, Peru. The culture arose about 900 AD. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD,.This was just fifty...

These cultures developed advanced techniques of cultivation
Tillage is the agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shovelling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking...

, gold and silver work, pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

, metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

 and weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

. Some of the social structures that later (around the 12th century CE) formed the base of the Inca Empire
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 may be traced back to these previous periods.

Ancient Cultures in Peruvian History Time Line

See also

  • Cultural periods of Peru
    Cultural periods of Peru
    This is a chart of cultural periods of Peru and the Andean Region developed by Edward Lanning and used by some archaeologists studying the area...

  • Inca empire
    Inca Empire
    The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

  • Amazonas before the Inca Empire
    Amazonas before the Inca Empire
    The department of Amazonas in modern Peru – a part of Peru close to the Andes but within the Amazonian forest – has a millennial history. There is some evidence exhibited on rocky walls dated from the most remote times, including the rock paintings of Chiñuña-Yamón and Limones-Calpón in the...

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