The first highly developed civilization of the Andes region, flourished 900 - 200 BC.
The first civilization of central Peru is named after the historic site Chavín de Huántar in today's northern Peru, which belonged to the Chavín civilisation but was not necessarily its major centre. The region of Chavín influence or domination extended into the coast.
The dominating building of the ruins of Chavín de Huántar is a huge temple coplex. It is built from well dressed rectangular stone blocks. Interior galleries are lined with pillars ornated with bas-reliefs carved from the stone. Heads of human, feline, crocodilian and serpentine figures adorne the walls, and groups of such figures are found in often complex and fantastic arrangements.
Crafts such as weaving and pottery and highly artistic art, particularly stone carving, developed slowly over centuries well before 900 BC. The Chavín civilization unified the many regional developments and established a cultural bond through a common social theory and religion.
The ruins of Chavín de Huántar (above) and a stone head set into one of the walls (below).
Photos: check the copyright status.