The Fascinating History of Peru
The land of Peru has given us many greats, from the peanut to the potato, and is filled with breathtaking landscapes, magnificent historical ruins, and a vibrant, rich culture which is ready and waiting to be explored. Currently the fifth most populated country in Latin America, Peru shares borders with Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and Ecuador, as well as the South Pacific Ocean. The topography of the country is varied, with coastal plains, the stark Andes, and lowland jungles of the Amazon Basin. Peru’s history is one worth exploring, with the powerful Inca Empire ruling here from the mid-15th century to the mid-16th century, and the lesser-known – but just as important – Wari Empire and Chimú Kingdom.
These empires have left behind a culture which still thrives today in the hands of indigenous Peruvians. The knowledge we currently hold about the ancient civilisations has been found in the ruins of cities and temples, with more being uncovered with every archaeological dig. Travellers who visit Peru will be met by stunning landscapes and interesting people, both which have been touched by the past civilisations.
It is important to note that while the Incas are famed for their presence in Peru, they were not the first inhabitants of this land. The Chimú were South American Indians, known for maintaining the largest political system in Peru before the Incas arrived, the Chimú Empire being founded in 900 CE. Their own language, Yunca – which is now extinct – was distinctly different from the Inca language, and although the language may not have been used by the Incas, Chimú life and culture influenced all the basic elements of the Inca civilisation.
A predecessor to the Inca Empire was the Wari Empire, which has been dated back to around 600 CE and was coetaneous with the Tiwanaku Empire in modern-day Bolivia.