It was long thought that Caral, in the Supe Valley of Peru was the oldest city in the Americas beginning at about 4,600 years ago.This was a large urban center that assisted around 20,000 people who lived nearby in surrounding villages. It acted like a large city hall or town square. The people that lived there were considered peaceful due to the lack of weapons and mutilated bodies that are normally found in these parts.The design of this center is absolutely amazing and seemingly impossible to construct something on such a scale for the time period.The main temple stands at over 91 feet! Caral is old but there are others in or around the country of Peru that are considered to be even older.
Bandurria is older than Caral by about 1,400 years! It is found near Lima.It represents a coastal settlement that focused mainly on fishing .These were some of the first people to build facades and monuments in the new world. They have been found to have used mortar in their construction,which distinguishes them from most of the earlier cultures, who were able to magically fit large megalithic stones together ,leaving little evidence behind on their methods of construction.
Older than Bandurria by 500 years is the ancient settlement of Sechin Bajo, which has carbon dates going back to 4500BC! This place demonstrates that the focus wasn’t solely on agriculture ,but on a coastal life, that offered plenty of natural abundance.This city was famous for its sunken plaza and is one of the first examples of this building technique in the Americas.
Land was made fertile with aqueducts and natural streams that flowed down from glaciers from the Andes ,coupled with the abundance of seafood that probably gave people a good reason to try an make a life in these places.These remarkable ancient cities also demonstrate order and administration principles through evidence of facades and along with central planning that make these civilizations some of the oldest municipalities in the Americas.
How was man able to create these enormous city-states with incredible precision? When comparing older construction to later sites its almost as if they forget the science behind their techniques and it regresses to the less sophisticated methods of just piling whatever brick or stone on top of one another. Something major was lost at some point in time in these ancient American cultures when something else was found in other parts of the world that led to the invention of incredible technology. What did the ancients forget?
Fuchs, Peter R.; Patzchke, Renate; Yenque, German; and Briceno, Jesus (2009), “Del Arcaico Tardio al Formativo Temprano: Las Investigaciones en Sechin Bajo, Valle de Casma”, Boletin de Arqueologia PUCP, No. 13, p. 31