Sipan Royal Tomb

Archaeology of Peru

LITHIC PERIOD (12 000 B.C.)
The food was based on the hunting of horses, lazy, deers and South American camels. They also ate in some parts of the coast terrestrial snails.
In the coast the way of life was different from the mountain. Bonavia (1991) says that in spite of the strong rains of the Pleistocene, the coast was dry and arid. This caused the extinction of the mega fauna (mastodons and horses).
In the coast have not been found places older than 10 000 years of antiquity, due that 13 000 years ago, the level of the sea was 50 meters lower than the actual one. The actual level was established 7 000 or 6 000 years ago. This means that the coast was wider and in the supposed of having human groups previous to 10 000 years, these vestiges would be submerged under the sea.
In the desert of Paiján (Chicama Valley), Chauchat found lithic artifacts made in rhyolite and in less proportion quartz. Because of this are soft rocks, it is possible that they have been worked using wooden percutores. It is possible that the paijanense used the stone tips only to fish.
The size of the groups didn't surpass fifty individuals for band.

ARCHAIC PERIOD (6 000 - 1800 B.C.)
It is related with the emergence of the tribe that is a group of bands tied by relationship lines and congregated in a territory. It didn't exist institutionalized power. A “boss” was only a consultant with influence. The tribe was auto regulated and its protection was responsibility of all its members.
In the coast, first appear agriculture and then the sedentism. In the valleys of the Andes (2300-3500 m.a.s.l.) agriculture was discovered before. None cultivated plant is native from the coast; this received plants from the Andes or from the jungle
The principals places of this period are Huaca Prieta (Chicama Valley), Chilca, El Paraiso, Caral and Ventarrón, (valley of Lambayeque) studied at the moment by Ignacio Alva Meneses.

Temple of Caral City
Caral - Supe Valley

EARLY PERIOD (1 700 - 200 B.C.)
The formative period is characterized by the appearance of the ceramic and agriculture. The important ceremonial centers had as classic representations, the snake, the puma or jaguar and the condor.
The temples are distinguished basically for the following:
a)  Buildings with sunken circular squares (Sechín and Las Haldas).

b) Rectangular and square enclosures with central fireplace (La Galgada, Kotosh and Huacaloma).

c)  Buildings with platforms and squares (Kuntur Wasi and Pacopampa).

d) Buildings with plant in U shape or horseshoe (Chavín de Huantar and Complex Caballo Muerto, specifically Huaca de los Reyes in the Moche valley).

The religion regulated to the society. It had an organization socio-political like lordship type.

The main cultures were: Chavín, Cupisnique, Huacaloma, Guañape, Paracas-Caverns.

Sechin Temple in Casma
Sechín - Casma Valley

EARLY INTERMEDIATE PERIOD (200 B.C.-600 D.C.)
In this period appears the State. There is an administrative organization with a capital city. There were built big temples and noblemen's residences.
It is the time of imposition of tributes and military service that allows to expand territories based on the war.
In the cities there is an organization of the space with specific functions: buildings dedicated to the cult, to the government and the administration, also for the houses, the artisanal activity and others.
The big capitals were: Tiawanaco, Tambo Viejo (Nasca), Maranga (Rímac) and Huacas del Sol y la Luna.
The main cultures were: Moche, Lima, Nasca, Recuay, Cajamarca and Tiahuanaco.


Moche Crown - Larco Museum

MIDDLE HORIZON (550 B.C.-900 D.C.)
The model culture of this period is Wari. Its city could be considered as an unique example of City in the whole Andean area. This because of its extension (2 000 Ha.), its numerous population (30 000 inhabitants) and its complex internal organization. For Luis G. Lumbreras the Wari culture would have been the direct antecedent of the Incas, contrary to Carlos Ponce Sanguinés that considers to the Tiahuanaco culture.
Other important administrative places were: Pikillacta in Cusco, Wiracochapampa in Huamachuco, Wari Wilca in the mountain of Junín and Cerro Baúl in Moquegua.
The Wari culture in Ayacucho is product of the coalition of elements of the Tiahuanaco civilization (Highland), Nasca (Coast) with contributions of the local culture, Huarpa.

LATE INTERMEDIATE PERIOD (850 B.C.-1370 D.C.)
It is the period of the big expansionary civilizations. The main civilizations were: Lambayeque or Sicán culture, Chimú, Chachapoyas, Cajamarca, Chancay, Chincha and Chanca.

LATE HORIZON (1200 B.C.-1532 D.C.)
It corresponds to the period of the Empire of the Tahuantinsuyo.


Huánuco Pampa