History of Peru

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The history of Peru spans several millennia. Long before the Incas, there existed peoples who thrived in this territory. About 15,200 years ago, groups of people are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and survived as nomads, hunting, gathering fruits and vegetables and fishing in the sea, rivers and lakes. Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the six oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. It was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, which established a Viceroyalty with jurisdiction over most of its South American domains. The nation declared independence from Spain in 1821 but consolidated only after the Battle of Ayacucho, three years later.


Pre-Columbian cultures

Hunting tools dating back to more than 11,000 years have been found in the caves in Pachacamac, Telarmachay, Junin and Lauricocha.[1] Some of the oldest civilizations appeared circa 6000 BC in the coastal provinces of Chilca and Paracas, and in the highland province of Callejón de Huaylas. Over the following three thousand years, inhabitants switched from nomadic lifestyles to cultivating land, as evidence from sites such as Jiskairumoko, Kotosh, and Huaca Prieta demonstrates. Cultivation of plants such as corn and cotton (Gossypium barbadense) began, as well as the domestication of animals such as the wild ancestors of the llama, the alpaca, and the guinea pig. Inhabitants practiced spinning and knitting of cotton and wool, basketry, and pottery.

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