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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 03:23 AM

1. Sorry about the poorly written article but

There is more articles and videos on this amazing site for further investigation.

Caral is one of many pyramid mounds in the area (known as Norte Chico) and nothing stands out about it when compared to the others in the region. But there is an ongoing project there (directed by Ruth Shady Solis) and I believe that it is the only one of these sites that is open to the public, so it gets heralded as being a capital or a city or particularly spectacular or whatever in the popular realm.
These sites all date to the Late Archaic/Late Preceramic (often called the Cotton Preceramic because we have good textiles from this time. But yes, no ceramics), which is usually dated to around 3000-1800 B.C., so the 3000 B.C. date is nothing new (and as far as I know that is a solid date for the earliest phase of the mound, but I'm not super well-read on it).
But it is not a city, and it is not a state (Shady Solis argues that it is a state, but I argue otherwise; the first states in Peru developed beginning around 150 B.C.) These sites were pilgrimage centres and probably had relatively few people actually living there; they were places to come together and worship, hold meetings, build the mounds, etc. before returning to one's own village. Pilgrimage centres like this are well known from later periods in Peru and we have every reason to suspect that Caral and nearby sites were some of the first.
But none were dominant and held sway over the others, as we would expect if there were a true state, and there are just too many of them for there to be 30 independent city-states within such a small area (four river valleys, and these are not huge river valleys). It's an interesting time period and one that we are only starting to pay attention to so there's definitely a lot that we don't know.
But suffice it to say, yes, Caral is that old, but no, it is not a city or a state. The warfare thing is pretty much moot too if it was a pilgrimage centre. But large chunks of the Peruvian sequence to seem to be pretty peaceful (at least within broad regional/ethnic groups), so a long period of time without endemic warfare is not surprising.

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Ichingcarpenter Mar 2013 OP
LineNew Reply Sorry about the poorly written article but
Ichingcarpenter Mar 2013 #1
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