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.

Period Dates Cultures
Late Horizon 1476 CE – 1534 CE Inca
Late Intermediate 1000 CE – 1476 CE Chimú, 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 (peruvian culture)
Middle Horizon 600 CE – 1000 CE Wari, Tiwanaku, Piura, Las Ánimas
Early Intermediate  200 CE – 600 CE Moche, Nazca, Lima, Tiwanaku, Pechiche, Piura
Early Horizon 900 BCE – 200 CE Chavín, Cupisnique, Late Chiripa, Paracas, Pechiche, Sechura
Initial Period 1800/1500 BCE – 900 BCE Early Chiripa, Kotosh culture, Toríl (The Cumbe Mayo aqueduct was built c. 1000 BCE)
Period VI 2500 BCE – 1500/1800 BCE Norte Chico (Caral), Buena Vista, Casavilca, Culebras, Ventarrón, Viscachani, Huaca Prieta
Period V 4200 BCE – 2500 BCE Honda, Lauricocha III, Viscachani,
Period IV 6000 BCE – 4200 BCE Ambo, Canario, Siches, Lauricocha II, Luz, Toquepala II
Period III 8000 BCE – 6000 BCE Arenal, Chivateros II, Lauricocha I, Playa Chira, Puyenca, Toquepala I
Period II 9500 BCE – 8000 BCE Chivateros I, Lauricocha I
Period I ? BCE – 9500 BCE Oquendo, Red Zone (central coast)

Alternative timeline by Luis Lumbreras:

Period Dates Cultures
Tawantinsuyu Empire 1430 CE – 1532 CE Incas
Regional States 1200 CE – 1470 CE Wari, Chimú, Chincha, Chanka Confederation
Huari Empire 800 CE – 1200 CE Wari, Tiwanaku
Regional Development 100 CE – 800 CE Moche, Nazca, Lima, Tiwanaku, Recuay, Gallinazo
Formative 900 BCE – 200 CE Chavín, Vicus
Archaic 4000 BCE – 1200/1800 BCE
Lithic 4000 BCE – 1500 BCE

See also[edit]


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