Its oldest archaeological remains are much later than the first settlement of America. They correspond to the 11th millennium a. C., dating found in the Cave of the Guitarrero (department of Áncash), in the north-central sierra of the country at the end of the last glaciation, the first settlers began the slow process of domestication of the local biota (see: revolution Neolithic) and to meet in tribes and villages to eventually form aillus. Traces of the origin of American agriculture have been found in the middle basin of the Zaña River, in Nanchoc (Department of Cajamarca) nine thousand years ago (7600 BC).
Towards the IV millennium a. C., the village communities of the coast initiated a hierarchy that overlapped the tribal organization. The first signs of organized architecture appeared, with public and ceremonial buildings. At the beginning of the III millennium a. C., arose in the complex of Caral, the oldest civilization of the continent, center of an extensive network of commercial exchange that went from Ecuador to the jungle of Peru, of which it participated with the extensive production of cotton and with a linked headquarter to the ceremonial cult.
Caral is coeval with the civilizations of China, Egypt, India and Mesopotamia; In the case of an area that can be considered as the cradle of the civilization of the world because of its antiquity (C. 5000 years). Older seems to be the complex of Sechín Bajo, in the Casma Valley (Ancash), where remains of a 5500-year-old building have been found, which would be the oldest in Peru and America. North coast the Cupisnique culture, which had apogee between 1500 a. C. and 1000 a. C. At the end of this period, the Chavín culture exerted enormous cultural influence on the others until its decline. The petroglyphs and channels of Cumbemayo, half an hour from the city of Cajamarca, are a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering.
It is about blocks carved by which water runs on a gentle slope, which includes tunnels and zigzag elbows to slow down the current. The stone blocks located at the beginning of the route have different planes carved and polished. One of these blocks, in the shape of a truncated cone, is traditionally known as “sacrificial stone”. Within the Moche cultures to the north and Nazca to the south, the first states with permanent militias were developed, linked to the pieces of ceramic art best valued in Ancient Peru.
In the extreme south, meanwhile, Tiahuanaco emerged as the dominant culture of the Altiplano, and later, the Wari culture developed the classic model of the Andean State with the emergence of imperial-cut cities, a model that expanded from the north to the last century. xviii. From the ninth century, after the abandonment of Huari, new centralizing states of regional scope were erected along the Andes mountain range, such as Lambayeque, Chimú and Chincha, a period known as the Late Intermediate or regional States.
Among these manors stands out that of the Incas, that towards the fifteenth century annexed all the Andean towns between the rivers Maule and Ancasmayo, with an extension of two million km², today located in the territories of southern Colombia, the west from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, forming what is known as the Inca Empire. Its capital was Cuzco, located in the southern Peruvian sierra. In addition to its military might, it stood out in architecture, with magnificent structures such as the citadel of Machu Picchu.
In the year 1532, the Inca Empire or Tahuantisuyo succumbed to the Spanish conquest carried out by Francisco Pizarro. The conqueror found the empire weakened by a civil war begun in 1529 between Huáscar and Atahualpa, the two brothers who wanted the imperial throne.In November 1532, Pizarro captured Atahualpa and, in July 1533, ordered him to execute under the charge of having ordered the death of his brother Huáscar, bending the opposition, relatively weak of some Inca generals, began the Spanish rule that established over the territory of the ancient Inca Empire, the most powerful viceroyalty that Spain had overseas.