Tucked into Peru’s mountains are remnants of an advanced civilization that defies the commonly held historical perspective that the cradle of modern society evolved from Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China. Dated to more than 5,000 years ago, the city’s ruins hold secrets of our origins, and insight as to how we could live and prosper in accordance with the Natures’ highest principles.
At Caral, there are six pyramids, a sunken amphitheater, temples, residential areas, and more. Though Machu Picchu, the most visited ancient city in Peru often overshadows this incredible site, archeological evidence proves it was a city that traded with people as far away as modern-day Ecuador.
The people of Caral also managed an economy that articulated the productivity of the various regions, trading fruits, vegetables, and even fish from the coastal cities on the Pacific. Musicians played on flutes made from condor bones, and ceremonies took place for the entire city to participate in within a large, circular amphitheater.
The city, located about 120 miles of Peru, was also built using advanced engineering design ideas, but was constructed with the most rudimentary of tools – no plumbs or levels. There are channels dug into the ground that lead into the buildings, for example, that kept fires burning for their ceremonies, and warmed their homes.
“Shicras” – flexible foundations that look like a basket filled with stones were used to minimize earthquake damage, too, since the city sits on a fault line. It was a master-planned community with nature, the needs of the people and an intention to trade with others all designed into its footprint.
Remarkably, there is no evidence of a single weapon in the ongoing excavations, and there are no walls around the city to “protect it from invaders.” Caral was a city of peace and prosperity.
The city was also built on arid land, instead of covering the lush fields surrounding it, which were used to grow corn, peppers, and a wide variety of staple foods. The lush valleys were considered deities. The people respected nature, and lived in a way that sustained the beauty of the region, while also enjoying great prosperity from living in such a way.
Contrary to what we’ve been taught, advanced civilizations existed all over the world that are older than historians have stated – and Caral is a shining example.
The UN has even named Caral as an example of how other city’s should be modeled, and many architects and archeologists have travelled there to derive inspiration from the ruins.
Ruth Shady, a Peruvian archaeologist from San Marcos University, discovered Caral in 1994, and was stunned by its size and complexity. It’s proper modern name, is Caral-Supe.
Caral’s residents left the city, subsequently covered in sand and sediment, when a long drought hit the area. This type of climate change is considered normal, however, when one looks at the facts of cyclical change on the earth, described in the latest scientific studies.
Caral has also been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
As the oldest known civilization in America thus far, it alters the historical narrative we’ve been taught.
Caral continues to be studied. There is likely much more to learn about its political, social, spiritual, and ideological leanings.
If you’re interested in seeing Caral, Peru, you’ll have to travel by car or bus for about three hours from the nearest hotels on dusty roads that are often impeded by the crossing of goats, but it would be more than worth the trip. Seeing how people could live peacefully, and in tune with Mother Nature more than 5,000 years ago would inspire anyone.