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The Pre Inca Cultures
Peru History

Cusco, Land of the Incas
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Puno and Lake Titicaca
Nazca Lines
Choquequirao Peru
Royal Tombs of Sipan
The Kuelap Fortress
Colca Canyon in Arequipa
Mountaineering in Peru
Manu National Park
Paracas National Reserve
Machu Picchu Cusco
Lima Peru

Destinations in Peru

Abancay
Arequipa
Ayacucho
Cajamarca
Colca Valley
Cusco
Chachapoyas
Chiclayo
Huancavelica
Huancayo
Huanuco
Huaraz
Ica
Iquitos
Lima
Machu Picchu
Manu
Moquegua
Moyobamba
Nazca
Ollantaytambo
Paracas
Pasco
Piura
Pucallpa
Puerto Maldonado
Puno
Sacred Valley
Tacna
Tarapoto
Trujillo
Tumbes
 


Over the course of 1400 years, pre-Inca cultures settled along the Peruvian coast and highlands. The power and influence of some civilizations was to hold sway over large swaths of territory, which during their decline, gave way to minor regional centers. Many of them stood out for their ritual pottery, their ability to adapt and superb management of their natural resources; a vast knowledge from which later the Inca empire was to draw.

The first Peruvian civilization settled in Huantar (Ancash) in around 1000 BC. The power of the civilization, based on a theocracy, was centered in the Chavin de Huantar , temple, whose walls and galleries were filled with sculptures of ferocious deities with feline features.

The Paracas culture (700 BC) rose to power along the south coast in Ica, and was to craft superb skills in textile weaving.

The north coast was dominated by the  Moche civilization (100 AD). The culture was led by military authorities in the coastal valleys, such as the Lord of Sipan. The Moche pots which featured portraits, and their iconography in general were surprisingly detailed and showed great skill in design.

The highlands saw the rise of the Tiahuanaco culture (200 AD) based in the Collao region (which covered parts of Puno, modern-day Bolivia and Chile). The Tiahuanaco were to bequeath a legacy of agricultural terracing and the management of a variety of ecological zones.

The  Nazca culture (300 AD) were able to tame the coastal desert by bringing water through underground aqueducts. They carved out the Nazca Lines, vast geometric and animal figures on the desert floor, a series of symbols believed to form part of an agricultural calendar which even today baffles researchers.

The Wari culture (600 AD) introduced urban settlements in the Ayacucho area and expanded its influence across the Andes.

The refined Chimu culture (700 AD) crafted gold and other metals into relics and built the mud-brick citadel of Chan Chan, near the northern coastal city of Trujillo.

The Chachapoyas culture (800 AD) made the best possible use of arable land and built their constructions on top of the highest mountains in the northern cloud forest. The vast Kuelap fortress is a fine example of how they adapted to their environment.


Most Popular Archaeological Sites in Peru

Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan
Chan Chan Citadel
Kuelap Fortress
Ventanillas de Otuzco
Wari Citadel
Chavin de Huantar
Temple of Kotosh
The Pachacamac Oracle
Paracas
Huacas of Lima
Caral
Pyramids of Tucume
Choquequirao Citadel
Toro Muerto
Korikancha Temple
Sacsayhuaman Fortress
Terracing of Moray
Ollantaytambo
Tambomachay and Qenqo
MachuPicchu Citadel
Pisac
Huacas del Sol y de la Luna


Peru Pictures - Images and Photos of Peru

 



 

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