The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is a 5000 year old archaeological site, situated on a dry desert terrace, overlooking the green valley of the Supe River in Peru. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest center of civilization in the Americas.
Sacred City of Caral-Supe
The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is a 5000 year old 626 ha (1,546 acre) archaeological site, situated on a dry desert terrace, overlooking the green valley of the Supe River in Peru. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest center of civilization in the Americas.
Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architectural, especially its monumental stone and earthen platform mounts and sunken circular courts. Its early use of the quipu as a recording device is considered of great significance.
Caral, or Caral-Chupacigarro, was a large settlement in the Supe Valley, near Supe, Barranca Province, Peru, some 200 km (120 mi) north of Lima. Caral is a well-studied site of the Norte Chico civilization.
The Sacred City of Caral-Supe reflects the rise of civilization in the Americas. As a fully developed sociopolitical state, it is remarkable for its complexity and its impact on developing settlements throughout the Supe Valley and beyond.
The design of both the architectural and spatial components of the city is masterful, and the monumental platform mounds and recessed circular courts are powerful and influential expressions of a consolidated state.
One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, Caral features complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures.
A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society.
The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.
No trace of warfare has been found at Caral: no battlements, no weapons, no mutilated bodies. Fndings suggest it was a gentle society, built on commerce and pleasure.
In one of the temples, uncovered were 32 flutes made of condor and pelican bones and 37 cornetts of deer and llama bones. One find revealed the remains of a baby, wrapped and buried with a necklace made of stone beads.