From the oldest to the largest and most influential empire of the southern continent in the Americas, Ancient Peru conserves the architectural and artistic relics of some of the most fascinating cultures that date as far back as 15,000 years ago, giving us evidence of the earliest forms of human civilizations.
What we know of these earliest civilizations is based entirely on discoveries from archeological excavations. And since these ancient cultures did not make use of a written language, much of their history has been determined based on their drawings and relics. Archaeologists had gathered historical information from art, tools, and buildings that explained their way of life through the decorations noticed on textiles and ceramics.
The early civilization was able to consolidate the construction of urban towns made of stone. Roads were also built to connect the cities. They were most famous for their architecture because of the natural conditions of the valley. These ancient cultures built the largest temples and buildings in Peru.
And they also developed advanced agricultural techniques. Agricultural projects in the area were so complex and sophisticated that they resulted in impressive economic activities. The most important crop was cotton which they used to weave fine-looking multi-colored fabrics and sheets; they colored their creations with natural dyes of about 190 different shades they formed. Textiles were considered a symbol of status.
The introduction of corn also known as maize was the catalyst for the development of the more advanced civilizations that followed. This advancement led to irrigation, dating from the thirteenth century B.C. The reason for the development of these great civilizations that rose and fell over the Andes for more than a thousand years was the stabilization of the food supply and the abundance of provisions.
They were also known for their burial ground and were experts at turning desert land into suitable land for growing crops and were continuously searching for water. They were known for the lines and drawings of animals that cover a large area of the desert surface known as geoglyphs.
The Kingdom of Chavin was the earliest central state to emerge in the northern highlands, which prospered for some 500 years. These majestic, massive temples built by the Chavin oriented to the cardinal points of the solstice, was regarded by the people of Chavín to be the center of the world, the holiest and revered place. After the decline of the Chavín culture around the origin of the Christian millennium, a series of localized and specialized societies rose and fell, both on the coast and in the highlands. On the coast, these included the Gallinazo, Paracas, Nazca Mochica, and Chimú civilizations.
Farming allowed these inhabitants to remain where they were and build settlements and new societies which appeared beside the coast and in the Andean mountains. These coastal communities eventually began to decline as a result of recurring El Niño floods and droughts.
These ancient people survived in simple adobe houses, fished in the nearby sea, cultivated potatoes and beans. They were fantastic fishermen, farmers, and artisans. With a history that dates back to more than 15,000 years ago, Peru possess a vast wealth of traditions, cultures, and imposing archaeological complexes. It is unquestionably one of the most diverse countries in the world.