Nazca Civilization

200 B.C. - 600 A.D.


The people of ancient Nazca were contemporaries of the Chavin civilization. The Naza were a militarist state with a society based on agriculture. They also preserved some aspects of the Chavin civilization such as pottery, which the Nazca are known for (textile and ceramics). The ancient people of this civilization are credited for the extremely large images of animals drawn in the deserts of Southern Peru, called Nazca Lines and for their complex irrigation systems made of aqueducts and reservoirs. Their mysterious disappearance is said to be their own fault; they cut down native trees which allowed extreme flooding that wiped them out.


The Nazca civilization lived on the southern coast of Peru (Coast of Ica department), with the main center of the city of Cahuachi in the Rio Grande Valley. This region is located on one of the driest/deserted places on the peruvian coast. The area was once covered by the native Huarango tree but the people eventually cut all of them down and replaced them with crops.

Coast of Ica department where the Nazca Civilization began.


As stated before, the Nazca region was dry, but the complex irrigation systems the people created made agriculture a big thing within the society. Their crops consisted of things such as corn, peanuts, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and lima beans. They used the pacific ocean to catch sea mammals as fish such as otters, seal, etc. The guinea pig was a very important food as well, it was used for ritual purposes. Llamas and Alpaca were imported from highlands and used for utilities.

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