Norte Chico civilization. Archaeologists have been aware of ancient sites in the area since at least the 1940s; early work occurred at Aspero on the coast, a site identified as early as 1905, and later at Caral further inland.
History and geography Caral panorama. Andean Peru has been recognized as one of six global areas where there was independent, indigenous development of civilization, and as one of two, along with Mesoamerica, in the Western Hemisphere. Norte Chico has pushed back the horizon for complex societies in the Peruvian region by more than one thousand years. The Chavín culture, circa 900 BC, had long been considered the first civilization of the area. A visit to Caral-Supe, oldest civilization of ancient Peru (Includes first-hand account) Lima - The Caral-Supe culture of Peru, the oldest civilization in the Americas, developed almost simultaneously with those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India and about 1500 years before the Mesoamerican civilizations. The archaeological site of Caral in the Supe River Valley is located about 180 kilometers north of Lima. It developed about 5000 years ago and is considered the oldest city in the Americas. Unlike the cultures of the Middle East and Asia which carried out exchange of knowledge and experience, Caral would have developed in almost complete isolation.
Among the greatest expressions of the Caral culture are the construction of giant pyramid-shaped structures and a complex and organized society based on religion, agriculture, commerce and musical activities. Caral - Supe: The oldest civilization in the Americas - HQ. Peru's Lost Pyramid City - 1/4.