South America 1000 BCE

The first civilization in South America is in the making.

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What is happening in South America in 1000BCE

The Pacific coast and the Andes

Over recent centuries the trade networks linking the high Andes and the coastal plains of Peru have been expanding. This is creating a single cultural sphere, and, together with increases in agricultural productivity, is moving it rapidly towards full urban civilization.

The Amazon basin

In the Amazon basin communities of Arawak-speaking peoples continue to disperse over an ever larger area. The fact that these settlements are small, coupled with the rapid evolution of multiple Arawak dialects at this period, suggests that the dispersal is carried out by small groups which, once settled in a particular location, soon send out off-shoots to establish new colonies. This in turn suggests some type of internal “colonizing” dynamic within their culture, such as is found amongst the Polynesians of roughly the same period: here, the founding of new settlements confers royal, semi-divine status upon a leader and his descendants.

The Atlantic coast

The settlements on the Atlantic coast built on ancient midden-mounds continue to flourish, and similar mounds start to appear in the central Amazonian river basin, usually (but not always) on a smaller scale than on the coast.

Next map, South America in 500 BCE

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Pre-Columbian civilizations of America

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