Peru is a diverse and rich country where authenticity is part of the culture. You may know the country by its gastronomy or like most people, because of Machu Picchu. But Peru is more than monuments and food, the culture shines through its people and their way of living and also by its past and the civilizations that existed.
Peru’s Ancient civilizations
Before the Incas, many civilizations had established in the Peruvian land. The oldest civilization recorded in America is Caral, which appeared more than 5 thousand years ago. The absence of pottery and the constructions made out of tiered adobe are the special features of the called Initial Period. It is possible for tourists to visit the Temple of the Crossed Hands of Kotosh to notice the circular town squares around sacred centers.
Chavín is the second most known civilization. It appeared around 1500 and 500 B.C. Their culture spread throughout the country from North (Ancash) to South (Altiplano). This occupation led to the greatest’s archeological discoveries as the religious center of Conchucos.
Taking a big step in time, by 1300 and 1533 A.D. the dominion of Quechua began in the valley of the Vilcanota River in Cusco. By allying themselves with other cultures, they gained in force and became the largest empire in America.
The Inca Empire covered the territory of 6 countries and united them under one flag thanks to an adequate system of governance. Instead of ravaging the cultures they conquered, Incas assimilated them in order to build a strong society. To connect with other cities, the created the Qhapac Ñan which is a valuable and wise road network.
The Spanish conquistadors and the late independence
In 1532, Francisco Pizarro a Spanish conquistador arrived to the American continent. This year was marked by the beginning of the decline of the Inca civilization as Inca Atahualpa was captured by Spanish forces and later assassinated.
Ten years later, the Viceroyalty of Peru was created in order to be fully dependent on the Spanish crown. Under the commandment of Francisco de Toledo, viceroy of Spain, the colonial economy was established. The method was called mita controled indigenous labor for mining and crafting.
Peruvian Indians endured this treatment for over 200 years before the approval of new reforms during the 18th century. Riots and rebellions broke out as an answer of disagreement which led to the mostly known movement started by Tupac Amaru II. This Creole movement was the start of the independence of Latin America during the 19th century.
In 1821 Peru was declared independent by Don José de San Martin. Three years later, Simón Bolívar culminated the liberation process by concluding the wars of Independence. The African-American slavery ended by the mid-19th century. This period became along with the arrival of the first wave of Chinese migrants.