Tuesday, February 21, 2017

THE CULTURES OF ANCIENT PERU - MUST KNOW



THE DISTANT PAST
The territory on ancient Peru had been well travelled for more than 10,000 years before the arrival of the Spaniards in the land of the Incas.
At Lauricocha an archaeological site situated at altitude of 13,000 feet in the central Andes, caves have been found in which the first Peruvians found shelter.
In the south they also took refuge in caves, such as those found at Toquepala. Cultural evidence at both sites largely confined to projectile points shipped form stones. The walls of Toquepala’s caves are painted with hunting scenes which date to the early hunting and gathering period.
The Incas’ remotest ancestors were hunters and gatherers. Primitive groups along the pacific coast were especially adept at extracting marine products from the bountiful coastal waters.
They were the descendants of groups of originated in Asia crossed the Bering Strait into North America during the last ice age.
These early Asiatic people dispersed throughout the continent, bringing with them from their native lands the cultural traditions which, by the second millennium BC, would evolve into the first significant Andean civilizations.
Bown with post-firing painting of a human with the body of a feline.
The post-firing technique was often employed by Paracas Culture.
The Vessels were painted with a variety of colours by mixing mineral  pigments with plat resin.
Paracas-Cavers culture, 700 B.C. - 100A.D. 


THE FIRST SINGS OF CIVILIZATION
Miniature stone warrior holding
 a shield and club and wearing a nose  ornament.
Moche Culture, A.D. 50 - 800
During the second millennium BC. , several thousand years after the first humans occupation on the region, the first signs of sedentary civilization began to emerge in Peru, following a shift from hunting and gathering activities to intensive to marine exploitation and then to agriculture. One result of this early manifestation of a more complex social structure was population growth, which in turn necessitated a search for improved irrigation, cultivation and food storage techniques.
Architectural evidence is the best measure of the beginnings of civilization.
Enormous monuments began to rise along the central coast and in the northern region of Peru. Las Haldas for example (around 4000 years old), is a vast pre-ceramic site on the north of coast which included residential areas for the elite as well as ceremonial and communal centers, and the ruins of Caral are even older, apparently dating form 5,000 years ago. Early monumental public architecture emerged in Peru as result of the wishes of the elite, who evidently benefited from the construction of these imposing edifices.
Essentially religious in nature, these structures elevated the prestige of the elite and ensured that their orders would be carefully obeyed. The primary objective of the ruling elite was to increase their own privileges by gaining preferential access to available resources. A secondary result of such rule was the maintenance of the community and guaranteeing for society as a whole.

Double-chambered whistling pitcher shaped like a pair of drums.

ANCIENT  PERUVIAN CIVILIZATION
The people from the Andes built large and complex cities, irrigated entire coastal valleys, worked with gold and other metals, wove textiles of intricate beauty, made by clay vessels so vivid that they were sculpture than pottery and mummified their dead.
They did not, however, develop a formal system that we can read today, and most of what we know about them has been learned through a  legacy of architectural remains and the objects of stone, clay, gold, textile and other material which they were buried with their dead. The Spaniards reported on their experiences with the Incas during the conquest and their writings provide us with another valuable source of information.
Researchers have studied artifacts and identified successive artistic styles in their efforts to establish a cultural chronology for their various people on Ancient Peru.
In the past 60 years more sites than ever before have been excavated by professional archaeologists and these have dated to through scientific methods. In the cases of several cultures, we now understand a great deal about people who produced their artifacts, their way of life, their political structures, and even something of their history. In other cases, however, our knowledge remains limited.
And yet, during the thousands of years that people have lived in Peru, inter-regional trade and evolving socio-cultural complexities have led to the spread of similar artistic styles over a wide are. Scholars call the phenomenon of an artistic style which gains widespread acceptance an archaeological horizon: a term used approximate contemporary between distant sites.
In the central Andes Peru, a series of major time periods has been established around the horizon concept. After a nearly period of hunting and gathering, known as the pre-ceramic period, comes the initial period, which is marked by the first use of pottery. This is followed by five periods which cover relatively widespread artistic styles(Early, Middle and Late Horizon), as well as intervening periods of extensive influence of the Inca Empire, and the middle horizon probably reflects a smaller-scale states that were nevertheless fairly large.
The broad similarities between early horizon cultures were most likely due to the adoption of religious cults by emerging elites in different regions of the Andes. The following cultural sequence has been simplified, and includes only the best known cultures, whith emphasis on the coastal and regions. Learn more about Pre - Inca Culture with best private walking tour guided company.


CHAVIN, 10000 – 200 B.C.
Chavin Culture, 1000-200 B.C.
In the first millennium B.C.  A new architectural and artistic style spread across Peru.
Its beginning may be traced back to the Cupisnique style of the northern Peruvian coast. Similar deities and animal figures have been found on pottery and textiles throughout the country. These elements were brought together and reached their fullest expression and the site known as Chavin de Huantar. It is though that Chavin as the main center of a religious cult, and objects featuring Chavin iconography have been found throughout the Andes. Located at the headwaters of one of the large tributaries of the Amazon which emerge from the high Andes, Chavin could only be reached from the coast by crossing the towering peaks of the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca.

Chavin and Cupisnique are characterized by a complex, almost baroque, style which combines human figures with zoomorphic attributes, typically featuring menacing fangs, claws, or beaks. Many of the images were engraved around stone columns or shafts, making them difficult to interpret, and intended for leaders of the cult.
Laern more about our cultures by having a private walking tour to the museum of Pre-Colombian Art.

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