Crucible of Andean Civilization: The Peruvian Coast from 3000 to 1800 B.C.
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The focus of the development of the first complex, centralized societies on the coast of Peru between 3000 and 1800 BC was a portion of the coast known as the Norte Chico, where more than 30 large Late Archaic sites with monumental platform mounds, ceremonial plazas, and residential architecture have now been identified. Differing theories have been offered to explain the emergence of complex polities in this region. New settlement and radiocarbon data suggest an alternative theoretical model that posits a regional sphere of interaction with a dominant political nexus in the Norte Chico region and participation by maritime fishing communities up and down the coast.