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Initial Period through Late Horizon

Andean Timeline Part III

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Moche Vessel

Moche Vessel

John Weinstein © The Field Museum Inca Textile Tunic, Peru

Inca Textile Tunic, Peru

John Weinstein © The Field Museum

This Timeline of Initial Period through Late Horizon is Part III of the Andean Timeline.

  • Initial Period (1800 – 900 BC): This period signs the appearance of pottery. New sites emerge along the coastal valleys, exploiting the rivers for cultivation. Important sites of this period are: Caballo Muerto, in the Moche valley, Cerro Sechin and Sechin Alto in the Casma valley; La Florida, in the Rimac valley; Cardal, in the Lurin valley; and Chiripa, in the Titicaca basin.
  • Early Horizon (900 – 200 BC): The Early Horizon signs the apogee of Chavin de Huantar in the northern highland of Peru and the successive widespread of the Chavin culture and its artistic motifs. In the South, other important sites are Pukara, and the famous coastal necropolis of Paracas.
  • Early Intermediate Period (200 BC – AD 600): The Chavin influence wanes by 200 BC and the Early Intermediate period signs the emergence of local traditions like the Moche, and Gallinazo in the north coast, the Lima culture, in the central coast, and Nazca, in the south coast. In the northern highlands, the Marcahuamachuco and Recuay traditions arose. Huarpa tradition flourished in the Ayacucho basin, and in the southern highlands Tiwanaku arose in the Titicaca basin.
  • The Middle Horizon (AD 600 – 1000): This period is sign by climatic and environmental changes in the Andean region, brought about by cycles of droughts and El Niño phenomenon. The Moche culture of the north underwent a radical reorganization, with the move of its capital farther north and inland. In the center and south, the Wari society in the highland and Tiwanaku in the Titicaca basin expanded their dominion and cultural traits to the whole region: Wari toward north and Tiwanaku toward the southern zones.
  • The Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000 – 1476): This period is signified by a return to independent polities governing different areas of the region. In the north coast, the Chimú society with its huge capital Chan Chan. Still on the coast the Chancay, Chincha, Ica and Chiribaya. In the highland regions the Chachapoya culture arose in the north. Other important cultural traditions are the Wanka, who opposed a fierce resistance to the first expansion of the Inca.
  • Late Horizon (AD 1476 – 1534): This period spans from the emergence of the Inca empire, with the expansion of their dominion outside the Cuzco region until the arrival of the Europeans. Among important Inca sites are: Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo.

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