Early Civilizations of the Andes

* 4,500 miles from Colombia to
* Many peaks over 20,000’
* Steep, rocky, poor soil
* Hot and dry during the day
* Very cold at night
*Settlements on the
Coastal Plain
*Andes Mountains, climate,
environment make travel,
farming difficult
*Harsh deserts lie along
Pacific coast
*However, coastal areas
with rivers have good soil;
are settled 3600-2500 BC
*Around 3000 BC
agriculture starts; by 1800
BC communities arise
*Chavin-first influential
culture in South America
(mother culture of South
*Arises in highland region
of Peru; flourishes from
900 BC to 200 BC
*No evidence of political
or economic organization
*RELIGIOUS civilization
*Gods-part human and part
* Named for major ruin, Chavin
de Huantar
* City has pyramids, plazas, and
massive earth mounds
* Chavin culture spreads over
north and central Peru
* Influences other cultures
* Religious images reflected in
stone carvings, pottery and
* Religious centers featuring
pyramids, plazas and giant
earthen mounds
* Would the Chavin culture have been more
influential if it had arisen along the Peruvian
* Yes-Travel would have been easier.
* No-People made the difficult pilgrimages
despite the rugged terrain.
*Nazca-culture on dry,
southern coast of Peru
*Flourishes from 200
BC to 600 AD
*They build irrigation
systems and make
beautiful pottery and
* 1,000 puzzling designs on
land—images of animals,
geometric shapes and
mythological beings
Please the gods?
Lines indicated where
surface water entered the
plain and marked elevated
land between ancient
A map that marks the
course of underground
Straight lines may have
led to ceremonial sites?
* One of the driest regions on
* Ground is flat and stony
* Wind rarely carries away the
* Minimal erosion
* In ceramic and textile
design, Nazca artisans
depict the taking of human
* Moche-culture that thrives on
northern coast of Peru
* Flourishes from 100 to 700 AD
* Images on Moche tombs and
pottery reveal how they lived
* GOLD and silver jewelry;
musical instruments, woven
clothing; doctors, soldiers
* Neither Moche religion nor fall
of culture are understood
* No written language
* Moche build large irrigation systems to water
wide range of crops
* Corn, beans, potatoes, squash, peanuts, fish,
ducks, guinea pigs, deer, crayfish
* What can be inferred from the discovery of
Nazca shrunken heads and the depiction of
soldiers on Moche pottery?
* Both the Nazca and the Moche had enemies;
some of their people were warriors.
* Identify similarities in the Chavin, Nazca, and
Moche cultures.
* Successfully adapted to a harsh, rugged
* All built flourishing civilizations known for their
art styles and beautiful crafts.
* 1.
Prospering agricultural villages and
surpluses of food helped lead to the rise of
civilizations. Give some examples from the
rise of civilizations in the Americas
* Food supply—population growth—settled
communities—skill and social classes
*2. Advanced Cities:
*Monte Alban, San Lorenzo, La Venta
*Specialized Workers:
*Urban Design, Craftspeople, Sculptors,
Weavers, Musicians, Doctors
*Record Keeping:
*Calendars; Zapotec writing
*Complex Institutions:
*Trade Networks, Ruling Classes,
*Advanced Technology:
* 3.
As the economy becomes more specialized,
social classes begin to emerge. Describe the
social structure in Olmec culture.
* Ruling class (priests to nobles), peasant
farmers, artisans and traders (middle class)
* 4.
As populations grew, religion became more
organized. Describe some religious traditions
that were followed by some of the earliest
American civilizations.
* Jaguar spirits, nature gods, temples
* 5.
Identify other ways in which the rise of
civilization in the Americas parallels the rise of
ancient civilizations in different parts of the
* Learned to control environment; created
solutions to environmental problems; used
resources to build thriving communities;
applied organized cooperation and leadership
to massive building projects

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