What Ancient Civilization Ruled Peru?

Peru is home to one of the most fascinating ancient civilizations in history, known as the Inca Empire. However, before the Inca Empire, there were numerous other civilizations that had thrived in this region. Let’s take a closer look at some of these ancient civilizations that ruled Peru.

The Moche Civilization

The Moche civilization was one of the earliest societies to emerge in what is now modern-day Peru. It flourished between 100 BCE and 800 CE on the northern coast of Peru.

The Moche people were skilled farmers, fishermen, and artisans. They were famous for their impressive metalwork and pottery.

Under the rule of the Moche civilization, there was a complex social hierarchy with powerful leaders who controlled vast territories. They built impressive architectural structures such as pyramids and temples to worship their gods. The Moche civilization eventually declined due to environmental factors such as droughts and earthquakes.

The Nazca Civilization

The Nazca civilization existed between 200 BCE and 600 CE in southern Peru. This civilization is known for creating the mysterious Nazca Lines – massive geoglyphs that can only be seen from above. These lines have puzzled archaeologists for years.

Despite being known for their incredible artistic abilities, not much is known about the Nazca people themselves as they left behind no written records. It is believed that they were skilled farmers who used sophisticated irrigation systems to cultivate crops in an otherwise arid region.

The Wari Civilization

The Wari civilization emerged around 600 CE in the central highlands of Peru. This empire was known for its impressive architecture, including fortresses, temples, and administrative centers connected by a network of roads covering more than 10,000 miles.

The Wari people were skilled engineers who built complex irrigation systems to support their agriculture-based economy. They also developed a system of record-keeping using a unique form of knotted strings called quipus. The Wari civilization eventually collapsed around 1000 CE, possibly due to environmental factors such as droughts and famine.

The Inca Empire

The Inca Empire was the largest and most powerful civilization in pre-Columbian America. It emerged in the 13th century and lasted until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. The Incas were known for their impressive engineering skills, including building massive stone structures without using mortar.

Under the rule of the Inca Empire, there was a highly centralized government with an elaborate administrative system. The Incas were skilled farmers and built impressive terraces to cultivate crops in the Andes Mountains. They also developed an intricate road network that spanned thousands of miles.


Peru has a rich history filled with fascinating ancient civilizations that have left behind incredible legacies. From the Moche civilization’s remarkable metalwork to the Nazca civilization’s mysterious geoglyphs, each of these societies played a significant role in shaping Peru’s past and present. However, it was undoubtedly the Inca Empire that had the most significant impact on this region’s history, leaving behind impressive architectural structures and an incredible legacy that still fascinates people today.