Cultural periods of Peru

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This is a chart of cultural periods of Peru and the Andean Region developed by Edward Lanning and used by some archaeologists studying the area. An alternative dating system was developed by Luis Lumbreras and provides different dates for some archaeological finds.

Most of the cultures of the Late Horizon and some of the cultures of the Late Intermediate joined the Inca Empire by 1493, but the period ends in 1534 because that marks the fall of the Inca empire after the Spanish conquest. Most of the cut-off years mark either an end of a severe drought or the beginning of one. These marked a shift of the most productive farming to or from the mountains, and tended to mark the end of one culture and the rise of another.

The more recent findings concerning the Norte Chico civilization are not included on this list, as it was compiled before the site at Caral was investigated in detail.

Late Horizon1476 CE – 1534 CEInca
Late Intermediate1000 CE – 1476 CEChimú, Chincha, Cajamarca, Piura, Chancay, Chachapoya, Chincha, Chiribaya, Chucuito,
Huaman Huilca, Ilo, Qotu Qotu, Pacacocha, Palli Marca, Piura, Sican, Tajaraca, Huaylas, Conchucos, Huamachuco, Rucanas, Chanka, Aymara nations, Ayabaca, Bracamoros, Huancabambas, Tallan culture, Huarco, Ichma, Parinacota, Cuntis, Chinchaycochas, Huarochiri, Kheswas, Tarmas, Paltas, Camanas
Middle Horizon600 CE – 1000 CEWari, Tiwanaku, Piura
Early Intermediate 200 CE – 600 CEMoche, Nazca, Lima, Tiwanaku, Pechiche, Piura
Early Horizon900 BCE – 200 CEChavín, Cupisnique, Late Chiripa, Paracas, Pechiche, Sechura
Initial Period1800/1500 BCE – 900 BCEEarly Chiripa, Kotosh culture, Toríl (The Cumbe Mayo aqueduct was built c. 1000 BCE)
Period VI2500 BCE – 1500/1800 BCENorte Chico (Caral), Buena Vista, Casavilca, Culebras, Ventarrón, Viscachani, Huaca Prieta
Period V4200 BCE – 2500 BCEHonda, Lauricocha III, Viscachani,
Period IV6000 BCE – 4200 BCEAmbo, Canario, Siches, Lauricocha II, Luz, Toquepala II
Period III8000 BCE – 6000 BCEArenal, Chivateros II, Lauricocha I, Playa Chira, Puyenca, Toquepala I
Period II9500 BCE – 8000 BCEChivateros I, Lauricocha I
Period I? BCE – 9500 BCEOquendo, Red Zone (central coast)

Alternative timeline by Luis Lumbreras:

Tawantinsuyu Empire1430 CE – 1532 CEIncas
Regional States1200 CE – 1470 CEWari, Chimú, Chincha, Chanka Confederation
Huari Empire800 CE – 1200 CEWari, Tiwanaku
Regional Development100 CE – 800 CEMoche, Nazca, Lima, Tiwanaku, Recuay, Gallinazo
Formative900 BCE – 200 CEChavín, Vicus
Archaic4000 BCE – 1200/1800 BCE
Lithic4000 BCE – 1500 BCE

See also


Edward P. Lanning, 1967 Peru Before the Incas. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., ISBN 0-13-661595-3