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

Alternative timeline by Luis Lumbreras:

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

See also[edit]


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