The Art of the Central Andes is an artistic production that takes place in Peru and Bolivia before the arrival of Europeans.


We can divide the period into pre-Columbian Andes Central (Bolivia and Peru) in many ways. This is one of the most frequent, it has a succession of eras and of Horizons. Logically, the integration periods or Horizons correspond to the same distribution of forms and sometimes the same techniques over a wide area, while periods of fragmentation, the Epochs, correspond to the development of local identities.


  • Lithic Period: 10 000 - 3000 BC. AD
  • Preceramic or formative old: 3000 - 1800 BC. AD
  • Initial Period: 1800 - 1000 BC. AD
  • Early Horizon: 1000 - 200 Ave. AD (Chavin culture)
  • Early Intermediate Period: 200 BC. AD - 500 AD. AD (cultures Paracas, Nazca, Mochica, Recuay, Pucara ...)
  • Horizon income: 500 - 900 (Huari and Tiahuanaco)
  • Late Intermediate Period: 900 - 1400 to (crops Chimu, Chancay, Ica)
  • Late Horizon: v.1438 - 1534 (domination of the Inca empire)

geographical and climatic conditions

The central Andes, which include Bolivia and Peru, representing the place where the mountain range is the most important. The landscape is organized into three parts: a coastal strip more or less close, the mountain range (average elevation: 2,000-3,000 m, but there are much higher peaks) and the Sierra. The climate has two seasons, the austral summer (our winter), with heavy rains except on the coast and the southern winter, which corresponds to a dry season.

On the edge of the Cordillera, the strip of coast more or less corresponds to a broad arid desert, interspersed with valleys created by fifty rivers from the Andes by melting glaciers. If the regions close to the river bed shelter vegetation beyond, extends a vast desert and quite cold. The virtual absence of rain has resulted in several changes of populations, including the development of techniques for capturing water for irrigation, and an important fishery.

The mountain is inhabited and exploited silonnée many rivers that flow mostly to the Amazon basin, and some to the Pacific. The city of Lima, about 1 000 m above sea level, is a modern hotel near the archaeological site of a former altitude. The altitude has an interest in agriculture, the sunlight is stronger than in the valleys. Culture and the dwellings are developed in depth to find more accessible pastures.
The Andean valley sometimes peaking at over 4 000 m in height, which grows only low vegetation with rushes, which serves as a pasture to llamas and vicuña. Some root crops like potatoes, however, can be taken up to 5 000 meters.
The arrival of the Spaniards changed completely occupying space, the Viceroy of Toledo forcing people to descend to the valley, in towns built on the model of Spanish urban planning, to better control the territory .

The Sierra, or Sierra da selva, consists of a forest that climbs a steep slope. Occupied by the Andean peoples from the Incas, it has given rise to the construction of agricultural terraces, like those visible to Machu Picchu.

The Neolithic: preceramic period

The preceramic period is marked by a settlement, the emergence of agriculture and the domestication of certain animals. On the site Kotosh, a temple with his hands crossed, so called because of reliefs carved in the shape of pairs of crossed arms, seems to have been started around 2450 BC. AD Several phases of reuse of the site have been identified, the reliefs being old whenever preserved under the sand for the foundation for more recent buildings. The relief, though brief, shows still a concern for accuracy and compliance forms.

The early days (1800 - 1000 BC).

During this period appears ceramics and weaving. The number of large ceremonial centers increases sharply.


Its appearance seems primarily related to a utilitarian purpose for the cooking of new agricultural products in particular. However, we know a few female figurines like the Venus of Curayacu, National Museum of Peru, dated II BC. This female character appears in a frontal pose and hieratic, the arm tackles on the body, the decor is limited to operational incisions.

Architecture and urban planning

In architecture there are traces of a more sedentary lifestyle marked, as evidenced by the large villages, with a religious architecture more complex than previously. Two types of architectural structures are used:
U-shaped structures, consisting of a pyramid and a plaza
structures with rectangular platforms and plaza below.

The site of Cerro Sechin is one of the most important monumental centers of Peru, dated I st millennium BC. AD He uses this background.

Stone Sculpture

It is mainly Serro Sechin What was uncovered major events of the sculpture of this period: slabs engraved guns to specific characters. In profile, they have a torso and an eye seen from the front legs when viewed from above, and two left hands. Different types of characters can be distinguished: the warriors armed procession of prisoners killed by their head out of the rivers of blood ... This representation of military warriors victorious correspond to a mythological tale?, A historical event (which seems very rare in the Andes)? Note the representation of trophy heads, already represented by the Andean tradition: eyes closed, crescent shaped, grimacing mouths (a symbol of death), flowing hair (mark of humiliation). Android app