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Short history of the Amerindians
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Short history of the Amerindians

The historians think that the South American Indians would be the descendants of the Asian hordes which crossed the Bering Strait towards 40.000 before J.-C. These tribes settle initially in North America and a part of them migrates gradually towards the South. Towards 26.000 before J.-C. they cross the isthmus of Panama and arrive to South America. Towards 16.000 before. J.-C. the South American continent is colonized.

The first traces of sedentarisation appear towards 5.000 before J.-C. (agriculture and breeding) at the same time in the mountains, the plains and at the coast. Ceramics and weaving appear towards 3.000 before J.-C. Between 2.500 and 1.800 before J.-C. the first temples appear, signs that true civilizations are present. Many cultures cohabit and follow one another and their order is difficult to establish. Each one bequeaths to posterity art objects, buildings and a great number of questions! Chavin de Huantar civilization -- first great "culture" -- develops from 1.500 before J.-C. Its influence extends on a vast area like half of current Peru. It is characterized by a worship of cat-like and the knowledge and the work of metal.

The civilization of Paracas appears towards 300 before J.-C. to die out towards 300 after J.-C. It is localised in the center and the south of Peru on the edges of the Pacific. The desert climate of this area made it possible to dig out vestiges (furniture, potteries, mummies, fabrics, etc. in a remarkable state of conservation. "Surgical instruments" discovered in tombs and marks of trepanation as of the metal plates covering the craniums seem to indicate that this civilization practised a rudimentary form of surgery which extremely intrigued the archaeologists.

Mochica civilization flowers between IVe and VIIIe century. This civilization resulting from the valley of Moché (Northern side of Peru) left in its craft industry a great number of traces of the everyday life. In addition to a very refined craft industry, they are characterized by a vast irrigation and construction schedule (roads, temples, fortifications). Mochica civilization was regarded as "declining" by certain prudes archaeologists because many aspects of the sexual life are represented in the craft industry.

Between the VIe and XIIe centuries develops in Amazonia Moxos civilization. Their characteristic was to develop on a large surface like France an ecological installation of the plains and forests: 20000 artificial islands were create in easily flooded zones, systems of irrigation, ship canals of the artificial lakes ... A titanic work! In XIIIe century, following problems of recurring rains during one century, civilization is disorganized and disappeared.

At the same time but more in the south and the center of Peru, Nazca civilization prolong that of Paracas.The famous lines of Nazca are the most known testimony which this civilization left us.

Between VIIIe and XIIe century, the civilization of Tiahuanaco flowers in the area of the Titicaca Lake. Like the sculptors of the Easter Island, the artists of Tiahuanaco made giant statues of only one part.

In XIIe century, the civilization of Tiahuanaco merged with that of Huari whose influence extends on all the center of Peru. The culture tiahuanaco-huari is the first for which the military, administrative and religious characteristics make it possible to speak about true empire.

Towards XIe century, the empire of Chimus follows mochica civilization in the coastal areas of North. Towards the year thousand, its capital, Chan Chan -- the largest town of dried brick -- shelters 50. 000 people!


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