Did South America Have an Ancient Civilization?

South America is a continent rich in history and culture. Many people are familiar with the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas that once inhabited this continent.

But did South America have an ancient civilization before these well-known empires? The answer is yes.

The Norte Chico Civilization

The Norte Chico Civilization is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations in South America. It existed from 3000 BCE to 1800 BCE, making it contemporaneous with some of the earliest known civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

This civilization was located along the coast of Peru, in an area encompassing roughly 1,500 square kilometers. The primary city of this civilization was Caral, which is believed to have been inhabited by around 3,000 people.

Architecture and Culture

The Norte Chico Civilization is known for its impressive architecture and cultural achievements. One example of this is the city of Caral itself.

The city was built around a large central plaza, with several large pyramids surrounding it. These pyramids were made from stone blocks that weighed up to 50 tons each, and they were arranged in such a way as to create complex astronomical alignments.

In addition to their impressive architecture, the Norte Chico people were also skilled farmers and fishermen. They grew cotton, beans, squash, peppers, and other crops using sophisticated irrigation systems that allowed them to farm in arid regions.

Legacy

Despite their impressive achievements, the Norte Chico Civilization eventually declined around 1800 BCE for reasons that are still not entirely clear. However, their legacy lives on today through their impressive architecture and cultural achievements.

In conclusion, while many people are familiar with the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas as ancient civilizations in South America, it is important to remember that there were also other civilizations that inhabited this continent. The Norte Chico Civilization is just one example of the rich history and culture that can be found in South America.