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Caral-Supe Civilization: Oldest Andean Civilization in Peru, South America

The ancient Caral-Supe civilization of South America is also known as "Caral civilization" and "Norte Chico civilization" in many cases. This Caral-Supe civilization started 9000 years before Christ. However, 3000-1800 BC is considered to be the period of greatest development of this civilization.

Caral-Supe was a complex pre-Columbian-era society that included as many as thirty major population centers in what is now the Caral region of north-central coastal Peru. The civilization flourished between the fourth and second millennia BC, with the formation of the first city generally dated to around 3500 BC, at Huaricanga, in the Fortaleza area.

Summary of the history of Caral-Supe civilization

The ancient Caral-Supe civilization of South America is also known as “Caral civilization” and “Norte Chico civilization” in many cases. The first name comes from the name of the Caral-Supe region in Peru’s Supe Valley.

It is from 3100 BC onward that large-scale human settlement and communal construction become clearly apparent, which lasted until a period of decline around 1800 BC. Since the early twenty-first century, it has been established as the oldest-known civilization in the Americas.

The largest and most important stupa of this civilization has been discovered here. Moreover, this region, as far as is understood, was also considered a very sacred place in this civilization. This region of Peru, on the other hand, is colloquially known today as Norte Chico; Spanish meaning of Norte Chico is “little place of the north”. It is from him that this second name is created.

This Caral-Supe civilization started 9000 years before Christ. However, 3000-1800 BC is considered to be the period of greatest development of this civilization. At least 30 centers of this civilization have been found along the coast of north-central Peru. Among them are Caral-Supe, Aspero, Uarikanga, Kabalet, etc., many traces of this civilization have been found through excavations. These include elevated platforms of possible large temples made of stone, ruins of residential houses, several mounds, signs of feeding on platforms, several flutes made of bone, etc. However, the use of metal was not known in this Neolithic civilization. Not even any traces of pottery making or use have been found here. But archeological excavations clearly show the existence of quite complex political and social activity here. 

Chronologically, this civilization’s heyday was thousands of years later than the Sumerian civilization of the Old World, but contemporaneous with the construction of the pyramids in Egypt. Another ancient center of civilization in the Western Hemisphere is Mesoamerica; This civilization is at least 2000 years old.

Separate civilizations emerged, one of the six such centers of the world and the oldest urban civilization in the Americas, the Caral-Supe civilization has certain characteristics. This generally very arid region is criss-crossed by the towering Andes MountainsAbout 50 small rivers coming down from The centers of civilization established along their banks were also based on agriculture. But they cultivated no food crops, mainly cotton. The cotton was used to make fishing nets and supply these centers of civilization along the coast. Fish and seafood collected in these centers were the main food of the people of this civilization. The exchange of fish and other seafood with nets was the foundation of this civilization in that sense. However, some traces of fruit and vegetable cultivation are also found in the narrow river valleys. No other ancient traces of this type of civilization are known so far.

Around 3800 years ago, this civilization is believed to have collapsed due to an earthquake or a natural disaster like El Niño. However, more recent studies attribute this largely to the prevalence of agrarian systems and the region’s infertile land and unfavorable climate for agriculture.

Discovery of Caral-Supe Civilization

A map of Peru shows the location of the three major centers of Caral-Supe civilization, Aspero, Caral-Supe and El Paraiso.
A map of Peru shows the location of the three major centers of Caral-Supe civilization, Aspero, Caral-Supe and El Paraiso.

In 1905, some traces of this civilization were discovered on the coast of Peru and somewhat inland in the Supe Valley. As such, Aspero on the coast and Caral-Supee, about 25 kilometers inland from the sea, were well-known to archeologists before the 1940s. But at that time not much importance was attached to these signs. Archaeologists at the time, especially from Aspero, thought that these Neolithic people did not even know agriculture. In 1973 archaeologist Michael E. Excavations at Aspero led by Mozley generally support this view. But in the 1990s, the extensive excavations led by Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Martha Shady Solís at Caral-Supe and other places in the Supe valley, published in 2001, gave historians an idea of ​​the antiquity, development and extent of this civilization. As a result, previous ideas about the antiquity of Andean civilization changed a lot. It is understood that human civilization is much more ancient in this region. As previously thought, the Chavin civilization and culture were considered to be the oldest in the region, the discovery of the Caral-Supe civilization proves that human civilization in the region is more than a thousand years older than that. Radiocarbon tests also confirm this antiquity of Caral-Supe civilization. Moreover, it can be seen that its origin is not in a high area of ​​the Andes mountains, but in a relatively low valley area of ​​the sea coast. In addition, German archaeologists from Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin), who have been conducting excavations since 1992, have also found links to this civilization at Sechin’ in the Kasma Valley, about 200 km north. From this the idea of ​​the extent of Karaal civilization is also clearer today. The importance of Caral-Supe civilization is undeniable to historians today.

Geographical location of Caral-Supe

The Norte Chico region is located in the north-central region of Peru ‘s Pacific coast, 150-200 km north of the capital, Lima. To its south lies the Lurin Valley and to the north the Kasma region. The region is formed by the four coastal valleys of Uaura, Supe, Pativilcha and Fortaleza. The last three valleys are interconnected by the sea coast. But their combined area is only 1800 square kilometers. But many centers of Caral-Supe civilization have been discovered in this small area. From this, experts estimate the dense population of this civilization. 

This coastal region of Peru is a very dry region. The location of the Andes Mountains to the east and the oceanic Pacific trade winds to the west have created a narrow rain shadow zone in the region. Naturally, therefore, the rainfall in this region is quite low. The soil is also barren. At least 50 small rivers flow through this narrow coastal valley region, fed by glacial melt water that descends from the high Andes Mountains to the east. As a result the valley is isolated from each other at places. Considering these aspects, this region has little in common with other regions of the world where such ancient civilizations developed. However, irrigation systems were developed here by cutting small canals from all these rivers. Ruins of man-made structures can still be seen in the region; It can be seen that most of them are also built around these irrigation canals. This suggests that these small rivers and canals played a vital role in the emergence and development of the Caral-Supe civilization.

Historical importance of Caral-Supe civilization

Radiocarbon tests have revealed that several artifacts of this civilization (at least 10 of the 95 artifacts accepted for testing) are even older than 3500 BC, i.e. 5500 years from today. The oldest of these dates back to 9230 BC. However, it does not reveal much more than a few indications of Neolithic human settlement. But in the two cases where the artifacts are dated to 3700 BC, there are some indications of social architecture.

From around 3200 BC, a considerable amount of socially constructed and used human-made architecture can be seen. From this, archaeologists such as Charles Mann concluded that there was significant development of civilization here, perhaps before 3700 BC, if not definitely before 3200 BC. Archaeologists such as Jonathan Haas have dated the significant settlement at Uarikanga in the Fortaleza Valley to 3500 BC, which is now generally considered to be the date of the emergence of the Caral-Supe civilization.

Radiocarbon dating also revealed that early civilizations developed in parallel with coastal and inland areas. But during the period 2500-2000 BC, during the heyday of this civilization, various centers in the interior of the country are seen to flourish. There is also considerable indication of population growth in these centers during this period. Inland centers like Caral-Supe, etc. developed significantly during this period. However, they were still quite dependent on fish and other marine food on the coastal areas. A possible reason for this may be the prevalence of prolonged severe droughts often associated with El Niño in the coastal areas of the region, and occasional or sudden storms and tidal surges; This may have resulted in the inhabitants later settling somewhat higher inland in search of a relatively safe haven. But they did not move too far from the sea as they became dependent on the sea for food.

By 1800 BC these centers of civilization were abandoned. Its exact cause is not yet known. Some believe that earthquakes, El Niño or some such natural disaster are the cause. On the other hand, according to the other group, several more powerful centers can be observed at this time in the highlands of the Andes mountains in the north and south along the coastal region. In these regions, especially in the north, traces of canals indicate that irrigated agriculture developed there. As a result, the people of the Caral-Supe civilization may have moved from their old territories to more fertile areas during this time due to greater food security, taking with them their accumulated knowledge of irrigated agriculture.

Eating habits of Caral-Supe people

What is known specifically about the food habits of the people of Caral-Supe civilization is as follows—

Researchers, while conducting excavations at Solis Caral-Supee, found evidence of the existence of some of the crops and fruit-bearing and tuberous plants used at the time. These are squash, several types of beans, guava, lucuma, sweet potato, etc. Later archaeologists such as Jonathan Haas also found these plants in some excavations further north. Along with that they found evidence of the use of some other plants like avocado, achira, etc. At present, from the various excavation sites of this civilization, it has been definitely known that the Meiji was practiced at that time.

But the abundance of marine or sea-based foods is a notable feature of this civilization. There is ample evidence of the use of this type of food everywhere-coastal and inland. During the excavations at Caral-Supee, Ruth Sheedy Solis noticed “numerous animal remains, almost all marine”. Among them, starting from snail or oyster shell, anchovy, sardine, etc. fish bones and bones, etc. are notable. It is clear from the remains of anchovies in particular that this fish was also used as food domestically. It is generally believed that the people of this civilization depended on a variety of seafood for food. However, archeologists such as Jonathan Haas do not agree with this theory of seafood dependence.

Archaeologists such as Michael Edward Mozley concluded that sea food was the basis of this civilization before the explorations of the 1990s established an accurate understanding of the extent of the Caral-Supe civilization. The absence of any pottery suitable for boiling cereal food further strengthens their conclusion. From the small mounds found on elevated platforms in the excavation area, they hypothesize that these are actually the remains of fossilized material prepared for animal food processing.

The theory of ‘sea-dependence of Andean civilization’ among archaeologists based on the data mentioned in the second and third places became quite popular. Again it gave rise to fierce debates between them. Because it has generally been observed that, behind the rise of civilization in a place, the dependence of the people on agriculture, especially the extensive cultivation of at least one crop, is very important. Because without surplus food it is not possible to increase the population density and create opportunities for some people to stay out of the direct food production process. As a result, the development of agriculture up to a certain level is very necessary for the emergence of relatively complex social systems. It is for this reason that the theory of ‘sea-dependence of Indian civilization’ has given rise to fierce debate among historians. However, experts such as Charles Mann have expressed an opinion in favor of the possibility of the truth of this theory.

Coastal and inland: Where was main center of Caral-Supe Civilization

Along with the debate about the food habits of this civilization, another debate has also arisen among archaeologists and historians— Where was the main center of this civilization, the coast or the inland? According to the sea-dependence theory of Andean civilization proposed by archaeologists such as Mozley, the main center of this civilization should have always been the coastal region. But especially in the 1990s, extensive excavations in the Caral-Supe region and the discovery of a large city called this theory into question. About 25 kilometers inland from the sea, this city is the oldest not only in Peru, but in the entire Americas. Based on this, historians began to emphasize the potential agricultural production of the region and the urge to find evidence of it became stronger among them. However, radiocarbon dating shows that Aspero is older than some coastal areas. From this, many archaeologists argue that the civilization began in coastal areas but gradually moved inland. That is, although there was some expansion of the agricultural system later, at least during the development of this civilization, sea-based food was the main dependency. This led to renewed debate, whether the major centers in the interior were dependent on the centers on the coast, or whether the small coastal villages were actually merely outward satellites of the major centers in the interior.

But historians today are very sure about one thing. If not initially, then at least the center of civilization shifted to inland centers rather than coastal areas. One of the main causes was cotton (Gossypium barbadense species). Although cotton is inedible, it is impossible to gather seafood and fish without nets made of cotton thread. Moreover, cotton is essential for making various types of cloth, clothing and bags. A type of tall grass was also used to make a strong bag, which was used for sowing stones in various constructions. Excavations in the Caral-Supe region have found evidence of such grass-made pouches. That is, the main basis of the various centers in the interior was to maintain the cultivation of this cotton and grass and the production of various types of necessary nets, cloths, bags, etc. On the other hand, the main production of the coastal centers was fish and seafood, on which the inland centers also depended. The theory of this interdependence of coastal and inland centers has now become stronger, based on a variety of evidence.

Society and Politics in Caral-Supe Civilization

Since no historical material has come down to us other than the archeological evidence of this very ancient civilization, our knowledge of the human society, social organization, politics, administration, religion, economy, etc. of the Caral-Supe civilization is naturally limited. The information that archaeologists and historians have so far been able to gather in these areas by analyzing the archaeological remains as possible is discussed below.

Now, according to archaeologists, there are mainly three types of archaeological evidence that predict the emergence of indirect human administration in ancient civilizations. These are –

Evidence of economic activity

Proof of observance of religious rituals and customs

Evidence of direct presence of administrative arms

Archaeologists such as Jonathan Haas point out that there is substantial evidence of at least two of these in the Caral-Supe civilization. In that respect, this civilization has to be accepted as one of the two most ancient civilizations of the ancient world (the other being Sumerian), where administration arose and developed independently in its own style. However, there is still no consensus among all archaeologists. 

Administration

Archaeologists such as Charles Mann have opined that the administration of the Caral-Supe civilization was primarily religious. Indications of regular feasts have been found on various construction sites and platforms, where music and perhaps sura were also in vogue; From this, it can be assumed that such an elite civil society had already developed in the society, who could gather somewhere on the occasion of a festival even if they went beyond the daily routine, and some abundant practices were also seen in that festival. That is, productivity in society was already able to create that abundance. Naturally, this abundance was only able to be enjoyed by the privileged and powerful sections of the society. From this, the presence of some kind of authority can be felt in the society.

Further indications of this authority can be found by analyzing the various major constructions in detail. Some of them are huge, built up slowly, over a long period of time; Others, such as the massive platforms found at Caral-Supee, were built in one or two phases. But in both these cases, large number of workers and well-planned organization are needed to carry out such specific and massive activities. Moreover, it is never possible to carry out a large construction work for a specific purpose in a short period of time, and it is also impossible to carry out a specific construction work for a long time. That is, the existence of these large pyramids, ruins of monuments, stupas and platforms suggests that some kind of strong central authority developed in the Caral-Supe civilization, although it is not possible to say how much administrative centralization developed there.

Some warehouse-like constructions have been found at both excavation sites, which may have been used to store cotton or other valuable items of the time. According to archaeologists, this is also an irrefutable proof of the presence of strong authorities in Caral-Supe-Supe society.

The economy of Caral-Supe Civilization

The mainstay of the Caral-Supe civilization’s economy was the cultivation of cotton and other food-producing plants and the control over their crops and the expansion of trade in them. Naturally the various inland centers of this civilization were the centers of power thus developed. Only two archaeological sites— Aspero and Banduria can be definitively identified as major coastal centers of Caral-Supe-Supe civilization. Besides, two other centers may also be given the same status. But fishing nets made from cotton and traces of food-producing plants have been found over a wide area stretching north and south along the Peruvian coastline. This suggests that there was a large commercial activity based on them. Perhaps the major inland centers were the main centers of this commercial activity.

Goods produced in Caral-Supe and Aspero centered on Caral-Supe were commercially exported over a wide area and a variety of goods were imported in exchange. Among them, smokeless Jimuni tobacco from the Amazon region, Spondylus oyster shells from the Ecuadorian coast, advanced dyes from the highlands of the Andes, etc. were particularly notable. Caral-Supe had commercial contact with forest dwellers further into the continent, even with the highlanders. However, there is still no evidence to say anything about this with certainty.

The Caral society was part of a network of sites that extended and articulated throughout the Supe river basin. In this network there were coastal settlements and others located in higher areas (sierra); among all of them there was an exchange of products (barter trade), being the City of Caral evidently the center of this entire network. Seen this way, one can glimpse the importance that specialization reached, that is, the appearance of groups specialized in certain economic activities.

Fishing

The extraction of marine products (fish and shellfish) was the main supplier of protein. It developed mainly in the coastal town of Áspero, from where the marine product was distributed to all the settlements in the valley. They were very good fishermen and fished for anchoveta.

Agriculture

Caral-Supe men developed intensive agriculture in the Supe Valley. They used simple tools like sticks and antlers to dig. They also built very simple irrigation canals that carried water from the river to the cultivated fields. The food plants they cultivated were: mate or gourd, achira, pacae, pajuro, peanuts, chili, guava, lucuma, potato, pallar, sweet potato, beans, avocado and corn. And of special importance was the cultivation of cotton, whose fiber was used on a large scale.

Commerce

The inhabitants exchanged their product through barter: those of the coast, offered their products extracted from the sea (fish and shellfish), those of the coastal valleys, cotton and fruits, and those of the highlands, their agricultural products (food crops) and grazing (camelids). The center of all this network was undoubtedly the Sacred City of Caral.

It is also evident that this network extended to more distant places, since in the Caral-Supe area products from the mountains (palos de lloque, condor feathers), the jungle (congompe, primate skins, bird feathers, etc.) have been found. ) and the equatorial coast ( spondylus ). They not only exchanged material products but also knowledge and cultural elements.

Social and Political Organisations of Car-Supe People

Political organization

Each settlement would be represented by an authority, in addition to the principals of their ayllus or family groups; which would constitute the germ of a form of government that would be prolonged for thousands of years in all Andean societies. The ruling class was satisfied with receiving taxes from the inhabitants, both in goods and in the provision of services.

Social organization

It has been determined that there was a great social differentiation, that is, the population was divided into social classes, each of which fulfilled certain functions and were organized in a hierarchical manner. Some groups were in charge of planning and decision-making (rulers and priests), and others of manual tasks, such as fishing, construction, agriculture, etc.

Arts and Culture

The most relevant examples of monumental architecture occur in the Sacred City of Caral. Its main buildings are stepped pyramids or temples, made of adobe and stone; as complementary elements, trunks and vegetable fibers were used. They are structures of different sizes. The most imposing, both in height and in volume, is the so-called Greater Pyramid Building (or simply the Greater Pyramid of Caral).

The walls of the pyramidal structure are plastered with mud and painted white or light yellow, and rarely red. Each building had a central staircase that led to the top, where several rooms were located. In the main room there were low platforms located on two or three of its sides, and in the center, a hearth made of a hole in the ground, covered with mud. The indications indicate that the stove had a ritual function; there various foods would be burned as offerings.

Sculpture

In Caral the pottery technique was not developed (that is, pieces modeled in clay and fired). And it is that, in practice, the caralinos did not need ceramics because they had gourd mates as containers, spoons carved in wood and plates carved in stone.

Although they did model small anthropomorphic idols in clay, letting them dry in the sun. These statuettes, which represent male and female figures, have been found fragmented and would form part of rituals related to the renovation of buildings and the cult of fertility. Based on these representations, the clothing, headdress and hairstyle of the inhabitants of Caral can be inferred.

Caral music / instruments

Three musical ensembles made up of wind instruments were discovered:

  • A set of 38 bugles, made of huanaco and deer bones.
  • A set of 32 transverse flutes, made of condor and pelican bones, with zoomorphic designs.
  • A set of 4 antaras (pan flute), made of reeds and cotton threads.

This discovery suggests collective musical practice, as well as a complex organization of the Caral society. Possibly, music accompanied ritual and social practices.

Personal ornamentation

The Caralinos were adorned with bead necklaces and pendants made with seashells (such as choro and mullu or spondylus ), bones of marine animals, semi precious stones, minerals such as chrysocolla, andesite and rhodochrosite. Many of these products were brought from distant regions. The shells were smoothed, polished, and sometimes engraved with simple designs, such as the spiral. Other necklaces had feathers tied with cotton threads.

Science Practices during Caral-Supe Civilization

Math

It is evident that they had knowledge of arithmetic and geometry, necessary for the design and construction of their buildings.

Astronomy

Evidence has been found that the men of Caral had knowledge of astronomy, which they applied in the elaboration of the calendar, related to the celebration of festivities and other economic, religious and civic activities. Said knowledge was also applied in the orientation of public buildings. For example, scattered geoglyphs and lines have been found on desert plains, next to scattered carved stones; as well as an originally roofed underground enclosure, which appears to be an observatory. It is also worth noting a monolith or huanca sunk into the ground of a public square, which would have been an instrument for astronomical observation.

Registration system (quipus)

In the La Galería pyramid, a textile remains has been found that has been interpreted as a quipu , the set of knotted threads that the Incas used as a mnemonic instrument (that is, as a means of preserving statistical information or messages to communicate). It would be, then, the oldest quipu found in Peru and would show the millennia antiquity of its use. As if to corroborate the use of the quipu in Caral, pictorial representations of said objects were discovered on three lithic blocks from the platforms of the Smaller pyramid of Caral.

Medicine

Medical knowledge is evidenced by the recurring presence of medicinal plants, many of them found in funerary contexts. For example, there are numerous packages of willow stems and leaves , used against headaches (it is the same tree that contains the active principle of aspirin). 

Technologies in Caral-Supe Civilization

Construction technology

The builders of Caral used the shicras technique, bags made of vegetable fibers and filled with stone blocks, with which they filled the platforms of the temples, placing them slightly apart. In this way they achieved stability in the structures. When a strong earthquake or earthquake occurred, that core of shicras that formed the base of the building moved with the vibration, but in a limited way, since the stones were contained in the bags. Then, the shicras rearranged themselves, finding a new point of stability. The shicras had, then, an anti-seismic function.

Agricultural technology

The evidence found indicates that there were groups specialized in improving the species and the yield of food and industrial crops. Through experimentation and genetic manipulation of various plant varieties, improved seeds were produced. This allowed the production of plants with fruits of better quality and size, and more resistant to pests. An example would be cotton, which has undergone a process of genetic improvement to achieve a longer fiber, variety of colors (brown, brown, cream and beige) and higher yield.

Textile technology

The development reached by the textile industry is evidenced by the discovery of a quantity of seeds and cotton specks. Dresses were woven with the fibers of this product, which were flat pieces without decoration. The technique of interlacing and twine was used. They also made footwear, bags, ropes, fishing nets, strings, etc. Together with the cotton fiber, those of other vegetables were used, such as reeds, reeds, cabuya, etc.

Religion and leadership in Caral-Supe Civilization

What can be inferred from the archaeological analysis is that the place of religion was very important in the Caral-Supe civilization. The administrative system was also largely based on religion. This civilization was probably led by priests. Their apparent ability to communicate with gods and supernatural forces was the basis of their prestige. Naturally, however, our knowledge of the religion prevalent in the Caral-Supe civilization is still very limited. An ancient gourd shell dating to around 2250-2500 BC has only been found, which depicts a figure holding a stick in two hands; Such a penitent deityAlso seen in various later Andean civilizations of nearby regions; Archaeologists believe that this deity was also worshiped in the Caral-Supe civilization. Winifred Creamer claims that this statue is indeed a deity worshiped in that civilization, its various signs are clear.

Caral, Cradle of Andean civilization

Unsubstantiated speculation: It has been raised about Caral, which was the seat of a community formed by several lineages and directed by the chiefs or representatives of said lineages where one of them would be the main Curaca and the others their counterparts. The Curacas of these lineages would lead and organize the life of the inhabitants of the various contemporary cities and towns of Caral such as Áspero, Allpacoto, Miraya, Kotosh and La Galgada among others. All of them shared the same tradition and formed a wide and well-organized network of reciprocity and exchange. Caral must have been the head of this entire network.

The factor of social and cultural integration that held the inhabitants of the Caral-Supe valley together must have been religion, which was perhaps used as a means of cohesion and coercion. Religion at that time was the policy of the State to control the population, the production of goods and their circulation. This is represented in the great monuments of a religious nature (the pyramids) with their squares, atriums and altars of the sacred fire where the different festivities of the ceremonial calendar were carried out, symbol of their cultural identity. Periodic meetings and joint activities such as the renovation of the pyramids allowed the recognition of power and strengthened cultural identity. However, This must have gravitated in a no less significant way in the generation of what we could call a civilization of peace, since neither offensive weapons nor defensive structures have been observed or found. Instead, it would appear that art and commerce were used lavishly to sustain economic production in an active and effective manner.

All of the above would serve as the basis for the subsequent Andean civilization in the case of Wari, as well as in the Quechuas of Cuzco, and they are present in Caral as the oldest exponents of the main Peruvian institutions of the pre-Hispanic era, such as reciprocity. (system of exchange and circulation of goods and services), the ceremonial calendar (linked to production, cultivation and fishing) or the construction and renovation of temples and communal infrastructure, among the most outstanding.

Death of Caral-Supe Civilization

Everything indicates that around 1800 a. C. all the settlements of the caral culture in the valley of Supe were abandoned. The exact reasons are unknown, but it is presumed that it was a consequence of natural events, such as earthquakes and the El Niño phenomenon, which forced the inhabitants to emigrate to other places.

Indeed, indications of strong seismic activity have been found in various monumental temples, such as the Huaca de Sacrificios in Áspero and the Greater Pyramid Temple in Caral. They show large cracks and unevenness between floors that were later covered by new construction. Those earthquakes must have been of a magnitude of 7 to 8 degrees on the Richter scale.

But possibly what affected the most was one or several catastrophic El Niño events, characterized by torrential rains and river overflows, which would undoubtedly cause a great collapse in the agricultural economy, as the areas dedicated to cultivation would be turned into swamps and swamps; Another consequence would be the sanding of the beaches. The unusual winds caused by El Niño would also cause large sandstorms that would cover the cultivated fields of the Supe Valley.

The settlers would thus be forced to emigrate to other places where they undoubtedly built new settlements and applied their technologies. Coincidentally, other temples and administrative centers arose around this time in the coastal valleys near Caral, as well as further north and in the sierra. Among them are Vichama (Végueta, Huaura), Sechín, La Galgada and Huaricoto (Áncash), and Kotosh (Huánuco). These centers effectively demonstrate the continuity of the Andean civilization, whose original focus is undoubtedly Caral.

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