Peru is a litany of historical civilizations that wet extinct one way or another. If you have heard about the Wari, the Paracas and the Moche, you probably haven’t heard about the Chavin culture. The civilization is named after Chavín de Huantar, an archaeological site that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where is the main site located?
The site is located in the modern day Ancash Region in the Andean highlands. Chavín de Huantar is believed to have been constructed around 900 BC and served as the cultural and religious centre of the Chavín people.
What makes Chavín so special?
Chavín culture was highly civilized and advanced, and they cultivated crops and created intricate artifacts. They are believed to have spoken a language that could be described as Proto-Quechuan but some dispute this theory. Chavín de Huantar is an extensive site that consists of ancient galleries, staircases, drainage canals and plazas. They most important of the ruins is the Old Temple, which was built between 900 BC and 500 BC.
Chavín culture produced some of the most advanced art in the ancient world. Shell trumpets, sculptures, pottery and ceramics are few of the artifacts that can be viewed today. Chavín people also used psychoactive plants and they were part of rituals and ceremonies. Known for their complex iconography, Chavín art has been described as ancient mythical realism at its best.
What else can you see while you’re at Chavín de Huantar?
The core of Chavín culture is located in today’s Huari Province in the Ancash Region. If you are visiting this region, do not forget to visit the Parón lagoon, known for its ethereal beauty and stillness. It is easy to get to this region from Lima. If you would like to explore Ancash region or specific sites in this area, contact us today. We can help you with a list of spots that you can visit in this region, based on your unique interests.
All images from Wikipedia