Machu Picchu may be fascinating and the site that people usually think of when they hear about Peru but to me, there are lesser known archaeological sites of equal or even greater significance that should not be overlooked.
I do not understand at all why the historical significance of Peru is often overlooked when compared to other cradles of civilization such as Egypt or the Mesopotamian region as a whole. Therefore, have selected 5 significant archaeological sites in Peru that you may or may not have heard of, omitting the obvious most popular places like Machu Picchu.
1. Chavin de Huantar
Chavin de Huantar is an ancient complex of older and newer temple buildings dating back to 1200 – 500 BC. In the center of the complex, there is a large central square, deepened in relation to the ground level. The entire territory of the settlement is covered by a well-thought-out system of canals from an engineering point of view, which served as a drainage system.
If you follow the staircase that begins at the square, you will reach the remains of the ancient castle, and beneath it, is a maze of tunnels and chambers that are nowadays considered an architectural wonder.
Caral was the 5000-year old capital of the ancient civilization of Norte Chico. The Caral complex consists of a central public area with six large pyramidal structures located around a huge square. The largest of the pyramids is 18 meters high, and its base is as many as four football fields. From the top of the great pyramid, the rulers of Caral could see the whole city.
A wide staircase leads to a number of small rooms, including an altar. There is a small opening in the floor of the altar where, according to scholars, sacrifices were made. The public architectural facilities have stairs, rooms, courtyards, the city has an amphitheater and three squares.
At the top of the pyramids were rooms for the elite. It is estimated that the population of Caral was about 3,000 people. Researchers believe that the model of the city was subsequently used by many civilizations.
Kuelap is believed to have been a fortified citadel built by the Chachapoya culture. They were also known as the “cloud warriors” and were a tribe that inhabited these lands before the Incas. According to archeological finds, the fortress was built around the 6th century AD and was used until about the 16th century.