Prehistoric South America UNESCO

Prehispanic Caral

Discovered by Paul Kosok in 1948, Caral is known for its early complexity.  According to radiocarbon dating Caral was constructed during the third millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest civilizations in the Andean region.  

In 1975 Peruvian architect Carlos Williams made a detailed record of several of the archaeological sites in the area, among them Caral, which encompassed 168 acres.

The Templo Mayor, constructed in different phases until it reached a height of 98 feet is the largest, consisting of overlapping platforms and a sunken circular court in front of the building.  The temple’s top is accessed by stairs located at the front of the building.  Other buildings include the Amphitheater Temple.

There are thirty two public structures along we an area of domestic occupation. Shicras, bags made from vegetable fiber cords, usually reeds, were used in construction of the buildings. Shicras were used to  transport stones for building, and occasionally used as fill in the construction work.

Hundreds of human figurines made from unnamed clay were found which are thought to be fertility figures. Caral appears to be the model for the urban design adopted by Andean civilizations that rose and fell over a span of four millennia. It is believed that research conducted in Caral may answer questions about the origins of the various Andean civilizations and the development of its first cities. 

Caral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009.