What Civilization Lived in Ancient Peru?

Peru, a country in South America, has been home to various civilizations throughout history. One of the most prominent ancient civilizations in Peru was the Inca Empire, which ruled from the 13th century until the Spanish conquest in 1532. However, several other civilizations preceded the Incas and left their mark on Peruvian history.

The Moche Civilization

One of the earliest known civilizations in Peru was the Moche civilization, also known as the Mochica. They lived in northern Peru from around 100 AD to 800 AD.

The Moche people were skilled farmers and built extensive irrigation systems to cultivate crops such as corn and beans. They built impressive adobe pyramids and temples that still stand today.

The Moche civilization is also known for their exquisite pottery. They created pottery vessels that depicted scenes from everyday life, as well as religious and mythological stories. These vessels were often used for ritual purposes and buried with important individuals.

The Nazca Civilization

The Nazca civilization existed in southern Peru from around 200 BC to 600 AD. They are famous for their Nazca Lines – massive geoglyphs etched into the desert floor that can only be seen from above. The purpose of these lines is still unknown, but they are believed to have had a religious or astronomical significance.

The Nazca people were skilled weavers and created intricate textiles with vibrant colors and complex designs. They also built underground aqueducts to bring water to their desert region.

The Chimu Civilization

The Chimu civilization was centered in northern Peru from around 900 AD to 1470 AD. They built impressive adobe structures, including Chan Chan – the largest pre-Columbian city in South America. The Chimu people were skilled metalworkers and created intricate gold and silver jewelry.

They also developed an extensive road network that connected various parts of their empire. The Chimu civilization was eventually conquered by the Incas in the late 15th century.

The Inca Civilization

The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. It spanned across modern-day Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. The Inca civilization began in the early 13th century and lasted until the Spanish conquest in 1532.

The Incas were skilled engineers and built impressive structures such as Machu Picchu – a city built on a mountain ridge that still stands today. They also developed an extensive road network that spanned over 14,000 miles.

The Inca Empire was known for their advanced agricultural practices, which included terrace farming and irrigation systems. They also had a complex social hierarchy and an intricate religious system that revolved around the worship of nature and their ancestors.

In conclusion, Peru has been home to various civilizations throughout history. Each civilization left their mark on Peruvian history through their unique art, architecture, and cultural practices. From the Moche to the Incas, these ancient civilizations continue to fascinate people today with their impressive achievements and contributions to human history.