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South American Civilizations. Classic Post-Classic. Peru. South American Civilizations. Classic 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

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South American Civilizations

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south american civilizations

South American Civilizations



south american civilizations1
South American Civilizations
  • Classic
    • 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.
    • INCAS
      • 1100 Cuzco starts
      • 1450-1533 Empire
the moche culture
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 ceramics and metallurgy
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
Sipan Site, northern part of Peru

lord of sipan
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 sipan1
Lord of Sipan

A re-creation of the tomb, aids and wives were buried with him.

The Moche believed in the afterlife and many of their pottery remains show people in a meditative pose.

  • 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 agriculture.
  • Nasca is best known for the Nasca Lines, geometric designs and animals constructed by paths across the desert and best seen from the air.
  • Their purpose is not known but some archaeologists believe they are related to the mountain gods.
nazca textiles
Nazca Textiles

nazca lines
Nazca Lines






  • The Tiwanaku polity dominated the south central Andes between ca. AD 400-1000.
  • 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 Architecture

tiwanaku ceramics
Tiwanaku Ceramics

stone carvings at tiwanaku
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 Tiahuanaco.
  • As they expanded they built huge cities to control their territories, built roads for communication, and spread the Quechua language.
huari culture
Huari Culture

the chimu
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 people. 
  • The Chimu preceded the Incas who conquered them in 1465-1470.
chan chan
Chan Chan

mud walls chan chan
Mud walls, Chan Chan

chan chan1
Chan Chan

inca development
Inca Development
  • The beginning of the Inca rule started with the conquest of the Chimu Culture in Peru.
  • The original Inca tribe was a minor Andean tribe whose expansion began with a successful campaign against its more powerful neighbours, the Chancas, in the 1440s.
the incas
The Incas
  • The term 'Incas' (or Inkas) is often used to refer to the people of the empire as a whole, whereas strictly it refers to the ruling aristocracy.
  • The position of Inca, the supreme ruler of the empire, was a more or less hereditary position, although strict precedence was often waived in favour of superior political or military ability.
khipu quipu
Khipu (Quipu)
  • A khipu consists, minimally, of a main cord from which pendant cords hang. (Pendants of pendants are called subsidiaries.)
  • Knots tied in the pendant cords and other modifications of the pendant are the commonest data-bearing or significant features.
  • Inka functionaries used cord records for censuses, inventories, tribute records, and documents about transactions; Spanish courts also accepted them as documents of record in early colonial times.
  • Herding and Agriculture

Irrigation systems

Llamas for wool and carrying packs

  • The dominant stylistic form in Inca architecture is a simple, but elegantly proportioned trapezoid, which serves the dual ends of functionality and severely restrained decoration.
    • Trapezoidal doorways, windows, and wall niches are found in Inca constructions of all types, from the most finely wrought temples to crudely built walls in unimportant buildings.
    • The doorways and windows are obviously functional, and the niches probably served a variety of functions as yet unidentified by the archeologists.
    • Placement of these trapezoidal openings was primarily functional, but occasionally, esthetic arrangements might dominate the placement of the trapezoids, if there was no conflict with functionality.
  • The ancient Inca capital is said to have been founded around 1100 AD.
  • The Incas conceived their capital in the shape of a Puma with the river serving as the spine, Sacsayhuaman the head, and the main city center the body.
  • Almost every central street has remains of Inca walls, arches and doorways. Many streets are lined with Inca stonework, now serving as foundations for more modern buildings.
machu picchu
Machu Picchu
  • The site of Machu Picchu was not discovered by the Spanish during the Conquest. In fact, it wasn't known to the outside world until 1911 when an American Archeologist, Hiram Bingham, made the steep climb to a lofty saddle high above the Urubamba river.
  • The city is clearly laid out in sections. There is a "royal" section where the stone work is the finest, the rooms are largest and running baths are nearby. The bulk of the food for the inhabitants was grown on the agricultural terraces of the city.
inca trail
Inca Trail
  • The real Inca Trail is a walking route that leads through the mountains above the Urubamba river, following (at least partly) the course of an old Inca roadway leading to the city of Machu Picchu.
  • The empire was connected with an elaborate system of "roads" which are really trails as the Incas had no wheeled vehicles.
    • They consisted of well paved and maintained paths that can accommodate 2 people abreast. Much of the system is now in disuse or lost, but enough trails do remain to understand the early descriptions and provide excellent hiking in the realm.
trail stations
Trail Stations
  • There are stations along the trails, between 2 and 5 miles apart, that served as living quarters for the "runners."
    • This was a special class of young men who conducted the business on the trails. Typically there were 2 men at each station. A runner with a message (oral) or an item (food, fertilizer or such) would call out upon approach to one of these stations. One of the occupants would run out to meet the incoming runner, receive the message or item, and then continue to the next station. The original messenger would rest and then return to their own station.
  • In this way, it was said that the Inca (who resided in Cuzco) ate fresh fish from the ocean and could send and retrieve information throughout the 2,000 mile empire in a matter of a few days.
http www raingod com angus gallery photos southamerica peru incatrail index html
burials mummy bundles
Burials: Mummy Bundles

thousands of inca mummies were found in a shanty town close to peruvian capital lima in april 2002
Thousands of Inca mummies were found in a shanty town close to Peruvian capital, Lima in April 2002

atahuallpa and pizzaro
Atahuallpa and Pizzaro
  • On Saturday, November 16, 1532, the Inca delayed his social call until sundown, supposing horses to be of no use after dark, and bemused by reports that the bearded men were hiding in fear. Then be capped his spate of bad decisions by going unarmed to sup and spend the night in town.
  • The Spaniards captured Atahuallpa and he ruled for eight months from a prison compound in the triangular plaza, keeping his lordly mien, his authority unquestioned by any subject of the empire.
  •  To secure his release, Atahuallpa decreed that the realm be ransacked to fill a 18-by-22-foot room once with gold, as high as he could reach, and twice with silver. Totally unaware that Pizarro's men spearheaded a massive European invasion of the Tahuantinsuyu, he presumed the bearded ones would go away once they had received their booty.
By July 1533 more than 24 tons of exquisite treasure had been collected: idols and chalices, necklaces and nuggets, accumulated through centuries of placer mining. Though this was only a fraction of the plunder that awaited the Spaniards elsewhere in the Four Quarters of the World, Atahuallpa's ransom, as duly recorded in the Spanish archives, was worth at least 267 million dollars at today's bullion values for gold ($315 ounce-Nov/02/1997-) and silver.
  • But instead of freeing the Inca, they tried him for treason, and was sentenced to death for treason against the strangers within his own realm.
  •  To avoid the horror of being burned alive as a heretic and thus deprived of mummification, Atahuallpa accepted Christian baptism and took Pizarro's Christian name: Francisco- Then the Spaniards garroted Francisco Atahuallpa, thirteenth Inca, and marched down the royal road to Cuzco.
final battle
Final Battle
  • The 40,000 member army of the Inca was destroyed by a 180 member Spanish conquistador army, which was commanded by Francisco Pizarro.
  • The warriors of the Inca were no match for the Spanish guns. By 1535, the Inca society was completely overthrown.