What is happening in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia in 500BCE
The past few centuries have seen the cultural – and probably political – centre of gravity shift inland from the coast, with the spread of the Chavin culture over a large part of the region, both in the highlands and coasts. The Chavin represents a step change in South American culture, with the building of substantial stone temple complexes and the production of fine textiles and pottery. Many archaeologists regard it as the earliest phase of true Andean civilization.
The culture seems to be linked to a particular religious ideology, expressed in a set of artistic motifs which appear on the pottery and textiles throughout the region, replacing numerous more local styles.
In the High Andes, irrigation has been introduced around the high altitude lakes of the region, including Lake Titicaca, supporting further population growth.