Andean Civilizations
Early Cultures
Moche: Classic
South American Civilizations
– CHAVIN 900 BCE to 500 BCE
highlands of Andes
flourished at this time
great ceremonial center
– MOCHICA 300 - 700 CE
started on coast
shifted to highlands from coast
– NASCA 200-600 CE
Post Classic
– TIAHUANCO 600-1000 CE
in the Andes Mts.
– HUARI 700 - 1000 CE
– CHIMU 1350-1450
in the Andes Mts.
1100 Cuzco starts
1450-1533 Empire
Early Cultures
El Paraiso, Peru (after 7,000 B.C.)
7,000 B.C.
Coastal Peru Subsistence
Fish and Shellfish-Marine, Deer, Sm
mammals, birds-Interior Valleys
Later-(ca 5,000 B.C.)
Marine and plant products
Jicama, Achira (squash and tubors)
first, permanent year round
El Paraiso Site
2 km from coast
9 large stoen structures (ca 140 acres)
Cotton nets
some 980 by 325 feet in size
structures have several rooms, stone walls faced with
mud and painted red, black and white.
one room had cotton, wool and needles (weaving
Moseley-Maritime Hypothesis
Complex cultures arose due to abundance of marine
Similar to NW coast of US.
Abandoned ca. 1500 B.C.
Chavin de Huantar, Peru (1,000100 B.C.)
Andean Highlands
earliest Andean center
10,000 feet above sea level, 100
Chavin horizon (culture)
Artistic style found in artifacts on
highlands and coast
Combines people, snakes, jaguars,
caymans and birds with geometric
Chavin de Huantar Architecture
Stone platforms covering one acre
– Largest was Castillo (new Temple), 45 feet
Platforms not solid but composed of many
rooms, exterior faced in granite.
 Old Temple-u shaped, inside was large
white granite object, 13 feet long.
– pillar with Great Image, pointed at both ends
and fastened to floor and ceiling.
– Carved in bas-relief.
The Moche culture
Lambayeque Valley from 100 to 700 AD.
 A culture that has left impressive
archaeological sites and some of the most
outstanding pottery to be seen in Peru's
museums, is named after the river which
flows into the ocean just south of Trujillo.
 The word Mochica has been used
interchangeably with Moche and refers to
a dialect spoken in the Trujillo area at the
time of the conquest, though not
necessarily spoken by the Moche people.
Moche is now the preferred usage.
Moche Social Structure
The most important people, especially the priests
and warriors, were members of the urban classes
and lived closest to the large ceremonial
pyramids and other temples.
They were surrounded by a middle class of
artisans and then, in descending order: farmers
and fishermen, servants, slaves and beggars.
The priests and warriors were both honored and
obeyed. They are the people most frequently
shown in ceramics, which depict them being
carried in litters wearing particularly fine jewelry
or clothing.
Their authority is evident from pots showing
scenes of punishment, including the mutilation
and death of those who dared to disobey.
Moche Ceramics and Metallurgy
Clothing, musical instruments, tools and jewelry
are all frequent subjects for ceramics.
As there was no written language, most of what
we know about the Moche comes from this
wealth of pottery.
The ceramics also show us that the Moche had
well-developed weaving techniques but, because
of rare rainstorms every few decades, most of
their textiles have been destroyed.
Metalwork, on the other hand, has survived. They
used gold, silver and copper mainly for
ornaments but some heavy copper implements
have also been found.
Sipan Site, northern part of Peru
Lord of Sipan
 Half
god, half man, king among his
people, a privileged person, a noble,
a warrior, lord over the lords of his
time, the Lord of Sipan was revealed
to the world in the last years of the
20th century.
 He reigned approximately 200 A.D.
and died about 40 years of age.
Lord of Sipan
A re-creation of the tomb, aids
and wives were buried with
The Moche believed in the
afterlife and many of their
pottery remains show people
in a meditative pose.
Lord of Sipan: Reconstruction
Located on the south coast, began in 100 BC and
was greatly influenced by Chavin and Paracoa,
but it reached its height between the 3rd and 9th
centuries AD.
It was militaristic and aristocratic, with a strong
social class structure. They built underground
acqueducts to bring water from the mountains for
Nasca is best known for the Nasca Lines,
geometric designs and animals constructed by
paths across the desert and best seen from the
Their purpose is not known but some
archaeologists believe they are related to the
mountain gods.
Nazca Textiles
Nazca Lines
TIAHUANCO (Tiwanaku)
 The
Tiwanaku polity dominated the
south central Andes between ca. AD
 The population settling the Tiwanaku
core area came to dominate the
region as the capital of the most
important polity by A.D. 400.
Tiwanaku Architecture
Tiwanaku Ceramics
Stone Carvings at Tiwanaku
Huari culture is a sythesis of the Huanta, Nasca
and Tiahuanaco cultures.
The civilization covered an area from the Moche
in the north to Arequipa in the south.
The Huari culture is considered to be one of the
greatest cultures in ancient Peru, not only for its
technical advances but for its influence. Some
archaeologists believe the Huari created an
empire before the Inca.
They expanded their territory through war and
spread the worship of the sun associated with
As they expanded they built huge cities to control
their territories, built roads for communication,
and spread the Quechua language.
Huari Culture
The Chimu
The next important period in the Trujillo
area, the Chimu, lasted from about 1000
AD to 1470 AD.
 The Chimu built a capital at Chan Chan,
just north of Trujillo.
 Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian
city in Peru, covering about 28 sq km, and
is estimated to have housed about 50,000
 The Chimu preceded the Incas who
conquered them in 1465-1470.
Chan Chan
Mud walls, Chan Chan
Chan Chan
Similarities with Mesoamerican
Powerful Rulers
Food Production
Elaborate Ceremony and Ritual
Religion with human sacrifice
Elaborate Cities and architecture
Differences from Mesoamerican
Cities shorter lived
Not core like Basin of Mexico, power shifted
between coast and Highlands
Animal Domestication more important-llama,
alpaca, guinea pigs.
Paved road system
No writing system
Numerical apparatus-quipu (knot)
Better preservation
Adobe houses
Human remains-mummies

Andean Civilizations