Ancient Pueblo People Eras  

Pre-Columbian civilizations

Ancient Pueblo People Eras
Ancient Pueblo People Eras
Archaic–Early Basketmaker Era: 7000 – 1500 BC
Early Basketmaker II Era: 1500 BC – 50 AD
Late Basketmaker II Era: 50 – 500 AD
Basketmaker III Era: 500 – 750 AD
Pueblo I Era: 750 – 900 AD
Pueblo II Era: 900 – 1150 AD
Pueblo III Era: 1150 – 1350 AD
Pueblo IV Era: 1350 – 1600 AD
Pueblo V Era: 1600 AD – present
Ancient Pueblo People Eras
Ancestral Pueblo culture, also called Anasazi, prehistoric Native American civilization that existed from approximately ad 100 to 1600, centring generally on the area where the boundaries of what are now the U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah intersect. The descendents of the Ancestral Pueblo comprise the modern Pueblo tribes, including the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna. As farmers, Ancestral Pueblo peoples and their nomadic neighbours were often mutually hostile; this is the source of the term Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning “ancestors of the enemy,” which once served as the customary scientific name for this group.

Ancestral Pueblo prehistory is typically divided into six developmental periods. The periods and their approximate dates are Late Basketmaker II (ad 100–500), Basketmaker III (500–750), Pueblo I (750–950), Pueblo II (950–1150), Pueblo III (1150–1300), and Pueblo IV (1300–1600). When the first cultural time lines of the American Southwest were created in the early 20th century, scientists included a Basketmaker I stage. They created this hypothetical period in anticipation of finding evidence for the earliest stages of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to fully agricultural societies. By the late 20th century archaeologists had concluded that Basketmaker II peoples had actually filled that role. Rather than renaming Basketmaker II and III to reflect this understanding of the evidence, Basketmaker I was generally eliminated from regional time lines, although some scientific discussions about its role in regional chronologies continued in the early 21st century.

The Basketmaker II and III periods are named for the fine basketry often found in the habitation sites of these people. Like other Archaic cultures in North America, the Basketmaker II economy combined hunting, gathering wild plant foods, and some corn (maize) cultivation. These people typically lived in caves or in shallow pithouses constructed in the open. They also created pits in the ground that were used for food storage. Storage pits were often lined and capped in order to aid in food preservation, to prevent vermin infestation, and to prevent injuries.

The Basketmaker III period (also called the Modified Basketmaker period) is marked by the increasing importance of agriculture, including the introduction of bean crops and the domestication of turkeys. To support their agricultural pursuits and increasing population, the people built irrigation structures such as reservoirs and check dams, low stone walls used to slow the flow of rivulets and streams in an area, increasing soil moisture and decreasing erosion. Hunting and gathering continued, although in supplementary roles; an increasingly sedentary way of life coincided with the widespread use of pottery. Basketmaker III people resided in relatively deep semisubterranean houses that were located in caves or on mesa tops.

During the Pueblo I period most building shifted above ground, and a number of very large communities were built, some with more than 100 adjoining rooms. Stone masonry began to be used, and kivas, the underground circular chambers used henceforth primarily for ceremonial purposes, became important community features. Cotton was introduced as an agricultural product, pottery assumed a greater variety of shapes, finishes, and decorations, and basketry became less common. Throughout this period, the area of Ancestral Pueblo occupation continued to expand, and new communities began to be built in canyons in addition to the traditional mesa-top locations.

While many Pueblo I communities were quite large, the Pueblo II period is characterized by a greater diversity of settlements; small hamlets and villages began to be built in addition to the large communities, or “great houses,” that were typical of Pueblo I. Kivas also became more diverse; some were built in towers, while others were built much larger than before.

The Pueblo III period was the time of the great cliff dwellings. These villages were built in sheltered recesses in the faces of cliffs but otherwise differed little from the masonry or adobe houses and villages built previously. Large, freestanding apartment-like structures were also built along canyons or mesa walls. In all of these settings, dwellings often consisted of two, three, or even four stories, generally built in stepped-back fashion so that the roofs of the lower rooms served as terraces for the rooms above. These structures had 20 to as many as 1,000 rooms. The population became concentrated in these large communities, and many smaller villages and hamlets were abandoned. Agriculture continued to be the main economic activity, and craftsmanship in pottery and weaving achieved its finest quality during this period.

Ancestral Pueblo people abandoned their communities by about ad 1300, the time that marks the beginning of the fourth Pueblo period. It is believed that a convergence of cultural and environmental factors caused this to occur. The Great Drought (1276–99) probably caused massive crop failure; rainfall continued to be sparse and unpredictable until approximately 1450. At the same time, and perhaps in relation to the Great Drought’s impact on the availability of wild foods, conflicts increased between the Ancestral Pueblo and ancestral Navajo and Apache groups. During the Pueblo IV period, the Ancestral Pueblo moved to the south and the east, building new communities in places where gravity-based irrigation works could be built, including the White Mountains of what is now Arizona, as well as the Rio Grande valley. Although some new villages were even larger than those of Pueblo III, they tended to be cruder in layout and construction than their earlier counterparts; stone was used less often, and in some cases construction materials consisted wholly of adobe. The production of fine pottery continued to flourish and develop, however, as did weaving.

The history of the modern Pueblo tribes is usually dated from approximately 1600 onward, as Spanish colonial occupation of the North American Southwest began in 1598. The Spanish mandate was to Christianize the indigenous population and to extract tribute for the crown, and violence was often used in order to gain these ends. This caused deep hostility among the Pueblo peoples, who coordinated a successful regional revolt in 1680; they remained free of Spanish authority for 14 years. By the early 18th century, epidemic disease and colonial violence had reduced the indigenous population and the number of Pueblo settlements, which had fallen from approximately 75 to between 25 and 30 communities. Despite these changes, many aspects of Ancestral Pueblo culture persist in contemporary Pueblo religions, languages, agricultural practices, and craft production.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Archaic–Early Basketmaker Era 7000 – 1500 BC
The Archaic–Early Basketmaker Era, 7000 - 1500 BC was an Archaic cultural period of ancestors to the Ancient Pueblo People. They were distinguished from other Archaic people of the Southwest by their basketry which was used to gather and store food. They became reliant on wild seeds, grasses, nuts and fruit for food and changed their movement patterns and lifestyle by maximizing the edible wild food and small game within a geographical region. Manos and metates began to be used to process seeds and nuts. With the extinction of megafauna, hunters adapted their tools, using spears with smaller projectile points and then atlatl and darts. Simple dwellings made of wood, brush and earth provided shelter.
Early Basketmaker II Era 1500 BC – AD 50
The Early Basketmaker II Era, 1500 BC - AD 50 was the first Post-Archaic cultural period of Ancient Pueblo People.

The era began with the cultivation of maize in the northern American southwest, although there was not a dependence upon agriculture until about 500 BC.
Basketmaker II "two rod and bundle" basket (ca AD 1 to 700), Zion National Park
Late Basketmaker II Era AD 50 – 500
The Late Basketmaker II Era (AD 50 to 500) was a cultural period of Ancient Pueblo People when people began living in pit-houses, raised maize and squash, and were proficient basket makers and weavers. They also hunted game and gathered wild foods, such as pinyon nuts.

The Early and Late Basketmaker II Eras (Pecos Classification) are often described as one "Basketmaker period".

Basketmaker III Era AD 500 – 750
The Basketmaker III Era, AD 500 to 750, also called the "Modified Basketmaker" period, was the third period in which Ancient Pueblo People were cultivating food, began making pottery and living in more sophisticated clusters of pit-house dwellings. Hunting was easier with the adoption of the bow and arrow.

In the Basketmaker III Era people continued to live in pit-houses, but the architecture changed. Now the houses were larger, included division on the space into sections, a large central hearth, addition of vestibules, and slabs of stone were used to line the walls.

Most pit-houses were built out in the open on tops of mesas. Pit-houses were built in a hole several feet deep between 8 to 20 feet (2.4 to 6.1 m) in diameter. A log frame was built to support side walls and a roof that were covered with woven reeds, grass and, lastly, mud for weatherproofing. In the center of a roof was an opening used for ventilation and an entrance to the dwelling. Some pit-houses had an attached storage room.

Basket, Basketmaker Culture, Ancestral Pueblo
Pueblo I Era AD 750 – 900
The Pueblo I Era, from AD 750 to 900, was the first period in which Ancient Pueblo People began living in pueblo structures and realized an evolution in architecture, artistic expression, and water conservation.

Pueblo I, a Pecos Classification, is similar to the early "Developmental Pueblo Period" of AD 750 to 1100.

People constructed and lived in pueblos, which were surface level, flat-roofed homes. At the beginning of the period pueblos were made with jacal construction. Wooden posts were used to create a frame to supported woven material and a covering of mud. Later in the period, stone slabs were sometimes used around the dwelling foundation.

The pueblos made of several rooms that formed a straight row or in a crescent shape. Sometimes they built the dwellings two rows thick with a combination of living rooms with fire pits and storage rooms.

J. Richard Ambler describes how Pueblo I architectural changes reflect societal changes:

The change in village layout would seem to reflect a basic change in village social organization from a loosely integrated group of related families to a tightly integrated group, and also a change in ceremonial organization from a largely shamanistic and individualistic orientation to communal ceremonies organized around the calendrical round.

During this period round pit-houses began to evolve into ceremonial kivas.

By the Pueblo I period, the Ancient Pueblo people were reliant upon agriculture and they faced periods of lower rates of precipitation, like the major drought from AD 850-900 in the Petrified Forest National Park. It is likely that people also settled on the mesas and ridges was to benefit from of heavier winter snowfall and summer precipitation. Water management and conservation techniques, including the use of reservoirs and silt-retaining dams also emerged during this period to efficiently utilize their water supply. Large earthenware vessels, sealed with stone lids, were used to store harvested corn and protect it from rodents and rotting. People also hunted, trapped and gathered wild nuts, plants and fruit.

In the transition from the Basket Maker period, pottery became more versatile, including ollas, pitchers, ladles, bowls, jars and dishware. Plain and neckbanded gray pottery was a standard at Pueblo I sites. White pottery with black designs, the pigments coming from plants, and red ware emerged during this period. Communities with low-yield harvests often traded pottery for maize. As a result, there was an emergence of beautifully designed black-on-white pottery to promote a successful trade.

Common gray ware pottery
Pueblo II Era AD 900 – 1150
The Pueblo II Era, AD 900 to 1150, was the second pueblo period of the Ancient Pueblo People of the Four Corners region of the American southwest. During this period people lived in dwellings made of stone and mortar, enjoyed communal activities in kivas, built towers and water conversing dams, and implemented milling bins for processing maize. Communities with low-yield farms traded pottery with other settlements for maize.

Pueblo II Era (Pecos Classification) is roughly similar to the second half of the "Developmental Pueblo Period" (AD 750 to 1100).

Villages were larger and more community buildings than in the Pueblo I Era. Structures were generally made of stone masonry. By AD 1075 double-coursed masonry was sometimes used, which allowed for second story construction. Homes made of stone were more study and fire-proof than the materials used previously. The grouping of the pueblos were called "unit pueblos". Some pueblo sites used a standard plan of front and back pairs of rooms which formed a common cluster of 12 rooms; The rear rooms were used for storage and the front rooms used as living areas.

Round-shaped, below ground and standardized kivas were used for ceremonial purposes. Large kivas, called great kivas, were built for community celebrations and were sometimes as large as 55 feet (17 m) in diameter. Towers, up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall, were built with housing clusters, with underground access to a kiva or as look-out posts. Trash mounds were generally placed south of the village.

Common pottery include corrugated gray ware pottery and decorated black-on-white pottery. Corrugated pottery was made from coils of clay wound into the desired shape and the clay is pinched, which created the corrugated texture.

In addition to the common gray were used for cooking and storage, pottery from this period included bowls, jars with lids, mugs, ladles, canteens, pitchers, and effigy pots in bird and animals shapes.

Pottery was used in trade for food in low-productive farming areas. This helped supplement the diets of people who needed to barter for food - and allowed those with very productive lands to focus on farming.

For instance, Chaco Canyon area produced large amounts of surplus food which was traded for pottery.

Anasazi bowl (trade ware) dating from 900-1100 AD
excavated at Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Pueblo III Era AD 1150 – 1350
The Pueblo III Era, AD 1150 to 1350, was the third period, also called the "Great Pueblo period" when Ancient Pueblo People lived in large cliff-dwelling, multi-storied pueblo, or cliff-side talus house communities. By the end of the period the ancient people of the Four Corners region migrated south into larger, centralized pueblos in central and southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Pueblo III Era (Pecos Classification) is roughly the same as the "Great Pueblo Period" and "Classic Pueblo Period" (AD 1100 to 1300).

During the Pueblo III era most people lived in communities with large multi-storied dwellings. Some moved into community centers at pueblos canyon heads, such as Sand Canyon and Goodman Point pueblos in the Montezuma Valley; Others moved into cliff dwellings on canyon shelves such as Mesa Verde or Keet Seel in the Navajo National Monument. Typical villages had included kivas, towers, and dwellings made with triple coursed (three rows of stones) stone masonry walls. T-shaped windows and doors emerged for both surface and cliff dwellings.

Cliff dwellings were built in shallow caves and under rock overhangs along canyon walls. In Mesa Verde, the structures within the alcoves were mostly made of sandstone blocks and adobe mortar. To build the dwellings, materials had to be brought to the alcove, such as fill dirt to level the cave floor, stones and mortar. Masonry craftsmanship became refined by this period. Stones were shaped and made smooth by pecking away at the surface, leaving a distinctive "dimpled" surface on the stone. The dwellings had sharp square corners. Walls were built to be thick enough to support multiple stories.

 Floors were made of wood, bark and mud. The most desired caves were those that faced south or southwest to reap the warmth of the winter sun. Doorways were small, covered with stone slabs for warmth. Exterior doorways were rarely built on the first floor. Ventilation holes in the ceilings held ladders for entry into the rooms. Plazas in front of the dwellings were used by women to grind corn, make baskets and clothing and prepare food. Men made their tools and children played there.

Surface masonry buildings. Not all of the people in the region lived in cliff dwellings; many colonized the canyon rims and slopes in multi-family structures that grew to unprecedented size as the population swelled.
Talus houses were built at the bottom of a cliff, often in front of "cavates" (cave rooms), and were about 5 feet, 8 inches high and 6 by 9 feet in surface area. The rooms were prepared by scooping soft tuff out of the cavity. Cavates is a term classified by archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett.
A canteen (pot), dated about AD 1075 to 1300,
excavated from the ruins in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.
Pueblo IV Era AD 1350 – 1600
The Pueblo IV Era, (AD 1350 to 1600) was the fourth period of ancient pueblo life in the American Southwest. At the end of prior Pueblo III Era, Anasazi living in the Colorado and Utah regions abandoned their settlements and migrated south to the Little Colorado River and Rio Grande River valleys. As a result, pueblos in those areas saw a significant increase in total population.

The Pueblo IV Era (Pecos Classification) is similar to the "Regressive Pueblo Period" or, referring to the Ancient Pueblo People of Colorado and Utah, the "Post Pueblo Period."

Puebloan villages in Arizona and New Mexico had multi-storied pueblos of up to a thousand clustered rooms. The New Mexico villages were generally larger than those of western region, which had large plazas with long, rectangular kivas.

The great migration out of Colorado and Utah at the end of the Pueblo III Era resulted in an influx of people into the Rio Grande and Little Colorado River valleys. Within Arizona and New Mexico there was an aggregation of people from outlying sites to larger pueblos. The puebloan territory of the Pueblo IV Era also included the White Mountains, Verde Valley, Anderson Mesa, and Pecos areas.

-Rio Grande valley. Many puebloan people were found in the Rio Grande Valley, including the Acoma Pueblo and Zuni Pueblo areas, when the Spanish arrived about AD 1540.

-Bandelier area pueblos experienced considerable construction, increased population and improved standard of living after 1300 AD. Black-on-white pottery excavated at Bandelier was indistinguishable from that of the Mesa Verde National Park, indicating that at least some of the new residents came from Mesa Verde.

-Abandoned communities. Many of the sites of the early Pueblo IV period were abandoned by the 1400s, such as those in the White Mountains, Verde Valley, Middle Little Colorado River and Anderson Mesa. Petrified Forest villages were generally abandoned by the late 1500s. The land continued to be used for its resources and for travel.


Puye Cliff Dwellings
Pueblo V Era AD 1600 – present
The Pueblo V Era (AD 1600 to present) is the final period of ancient pueblo culture in the American Southwest, or Oasisamerica, and includes the contemporary Pueblo peoples. From the previous Pueblo IV Era, all 19 of the Rio Grande valley pueblos remain in the contemporary era. The only remaining pueblo in Texas are Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, and the only remaining pueblos in Arizona are maintained by the Hopi Tribe. The rest of the Pueblo IV pueblos were abandoned by the 19th century.

The Pueblo V Era (Pecos Classification) is similar to the "Regressive Pueblo Period."

Considerable change occurred during the Pueblo V Era due to Spanish colonization of the Americas beginning in the 16th century and the United States westward expansion of the 19th and 20th centuries. These influences resulted in:

-Population decline due to European diseases
-Efforts to secure traditional Pueblo lands by the Europeans and other Native American tribes
-Establishment of Indian reservations

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center notes, "Today, Pueblo people live in the modern world while maintaining their distinct culture and rich traditional heritage."


Taos Pueblo

Tiwanaku, a pre-Columbian city, reached its height in around 750.

Tiwanaku, also spelled Tiahuanaco or Tiwanacu, major pre-Columbian civilization known from ruins of the same name that are situated near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

The main Tiwanaku site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2000.

Some scholars date the earliest remains found at the site to the early part of the Early Intermediate Period (c. 200 bc–ad 200); others suggest that the culture is evident in artifacts from the 2nd millennium bc. Probably much of the site, including many of the major buildings, dates from the latter half of the Early Intermediate Period (ad 200–600); some construction, however, must have continued into the Middle Horizon (ad 600–1000), for during this period Tiwanaku influences are seen at Huari (Wari) and elsewhere in the central and southern Andes.

The principal buildings of Tiwanaku include the Akapana Pyramid, a huge platform mound or stepped pyramid of earth faced with cut andesite; a rectangular enclosure known as the Kalasasaya, constructed of alternating tall stone columns and smaller rectangular blocks; and another enclosure known as the Palacio. A notable feature of the Kalasasaya is the monolithic Gateway of the Sun, which is adorned with the carved central figure of a staff-carrying Doorway God and other subsidiary figures, sometimes referred to as angels or winged messengers. A great number of freestanding carved stone figures have also been found at the site.

Characteristic pottery is a flared beaker form, painted with black, white, and light red representations of pumas, condors, and other creatures on a dark red ground colour. It has been speculated that the people who built the splendid Tiwanaku complex, whose culture had vanished by ad 1200, were the ancestors of the present-day Aymara Indians of highland Bolivia.

In the late 20th century, archaeologists discovered new information concerning the Tiwanaku site.

Formerly thought to have been largely a ceremonial site, the area since has been revealed as a once-bustling metropolis, the capital of one of the greatest and most enduring of ancient civilizations; nonetheless, relatively little is known about it. Tiwanaku influence was in great measure a result of its remarkable agricultural system. This farming method, known as the raised-field system, consisted of raised planting surfaces separated by small irrigation ditches, or canals. This system was designed in such a way that the canals retained the heat of the intense sunlight during frosty nights on the Altiplano and thus kept the crops from freezing. Algae and aquatic plants that accumulated in the canals were used as organic fertilizer on the raised fields.

During the height of its power, Tiwanaku dominated or influenced large portions of what are now eastern and southern Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, northern Chile, and southern Peru. The revived use of the raised-field system by some Bolivian farmers in the late 20th century resulted in increased agricultural production.


Walls around the temple Kalasasaya
After the settling of the Americas, various cultures developed in North America, some of which were culturally very sophisticated. Predominantly hierarchically organized empires developed in Central and South America, each of which took over the political and cultural leadership of the region for a certain time. These included the empires of the Olmec and Toltec as well as the Maya and Aztec in Central America and of the Chimu, Chavin, Moche, Nazca, and finally the Inca in South America.

Colossal stone head depicting an Olmec god
A large number of diverse American Indian cultures characterized the northern continent.
Nomadic Stone Age hunter-gatherers moved into North America toward the end of the last ice age, roughly 13,000 B.C., across a land bridge that existed at the time between Asia and America. They spread out over the entirety of the Americas in the course of the following millennia.

Around 300 B.C., members of the Hohokam cultures migrated northward from Mexico and settled in villages whose agricultural areas wrere irrigated by large-scale canal systems. The various American cultures flourished from the beginning of the Christian era until the eighth century.

The cliff-dwelling Anasazi culture devel oped around 500 a.d. in the American Southwest.


Cliff dwellings of the Anasanzi culture, ca. 1200

Beautiful art works of the Anasazi culture.

They were settled agriculturalists who dwelled in multistory stone houses and are the predecessors of the Pueblo Indians, who were then conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century.

Settlement of the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico

The Mississippian culture unfolded about "so around the city of Cahokia, near modern St. Louis, in which close to 50,000 inhabitants lived. The cultivation that many Indian cultures met. Tribes on the northwest coast existed by fishing, pursued trade with northern Asia, and held potlatches—complex gift-giving rituals which distinguished many of them. They arc also known for their wood carvings, particularly their totem poles.


Bison hunt
The tribes of the Great Plains were for the most part nomads, their culture dependent on the hunting of bison. As they more frequently came into contact with white settlers pushing westward, they were mistakenly thought to be typical of Indian cultures.

The lifestyles, social organizations, and political institutions of the Native Americans were very diverse. These were partly determined by the living conditions such as climate, terrain, and animal population, but even in similar environments there was a great diversity of social structures: settled and nomadic peoples with or without slaves, hunter and agrarian cultures, patriarchal and matriarchal societies, monarchical and democratic structures. The Wendat (Huron) confederations in the 15th century, and later the five-nation Iroquois League, had a parliament and constituted the first American democracy.

Central and South America
Sophisticated state-building civilizations developed in Mexico and Peru, some of which covered vast territories.
The nomadic hunter-gatherer communities of Central America became settled agrarian societies about 8000-9000 years ago. The Olmec formed the first advanced civilization; they left behind temple complexes and palaces from about 1200 B.C. The Olmec culture was dominant on the Mexican east coast until about 400 B.C. This culture was long considered to be the oldest in the Americas until 2001 when a city dating back to around 2700 B.C., and testifying to a sophisticated society that built pyramids as old as those of Egypt, was discovered in Caral, Peru.

Approximately 2000 years ago, a nation developed around the city of Teotihuacan not far from modern-day Mexico City, and it dominated Mexico from 450 to 700. The city at times had more than 100,000 inhabitants and a widespread trading network.

It housed sun and moon pyramids as well as numerous colorfully painted temples lining  a wide thoroughfare.

The 213-foot (65 m) high sun pyramid in Teotihuacan

Between 400 and 1200 A.D., the Toltec formed a militarily organized empire in the interior of Mexico, the first in Central America to use an army to subjugate its neighbors. In the twelfth century their empire fell, and the rise of the Aztec began in the ensuing decades.

The Maya peoples had been laying out settlements on the Yucatan Peninsula since 1200 B.C. Between 300 and 900 A.D., the Classic Maya period, numerous city-states ruled by priest-princes formed on the peninsula.


Mayan vessel showing a
palace scene, decorated clay

Head of a Maya prince, Tuff, ca. 700

Mayan  sculptures

Ruins of the city Tikal, Guatemala

For reasons unknown, these were given up in favor of the cities of the Postclassic Period, which were situated further north.

In South America almost 3000 years ago, the Chavin culture emerged in Peru. It lasted into the third century B.C. and was replaced by the Mochica or Moche in the north and in the south by the Nazca. The latter, famous for the sixth or seventh century.

Between 300 and 900, the civilization of the Tiahuanaco dominated the region around Lake Titicaca, which was possibly developed from the earlier Chavin culture and which influenced the Huari empire that ruled Peru from the seventh to eleventh centuries.

Stela with Gateway of the Sun from the Tiahuanaco culture, Bolivia

The Mochica built temples and pyramids that are among the largest in the Americas and created characteristic pottery that occasionally depicted human sacrifice.

Moche portraits vessel in the shape of a head, clay, first с. в.с.-sixth с. A.D.

They gave up their cities at the beginning of the eighth century. The Chimu, who had an intricate irrigation system, succeeded them about 200 years later on the Peruvian coast. Their empire and its capital Chan Chan, which had around 50,000 inhabitants, was conquered by the Inca in 1470.

The Amazon region was first settled by humans in the third millennium B.C.

The people occupying the southern tip of South America nearly 10,000 years ago were almost completely eradicated by colonization and epidemics.


Pre-Columbian civilizations

Ancient Pueblo People Eras