South America 3500 BCE

Permanent villages have grown up along coasts and rivers.

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What is happening in South America in 3500BCE

Food crops and settlement

The peoples of the New World have, by this date, domesticated a much greater range of plants than have those of the Old; however, only in a few areas have food crops become an important part of the economy. Most of South America is still inhabited by groups of hunter-gatherers. It is only along the coasts of the Pacific and Atlantic, and along the rivers of Amazonia, that permanent villages have become established, benefiting from access to abundant aquatic foods such as fish and shellfish, as well as the more normal land-based animals and plants.

Growth of villages

The largest and most numerous villages are to be found on the coasts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, due to the Pacific Ocean currents here which produce a rich harvest of marine foods. By this date these communities are shifting to a more agricultural economy, and their populations are growing. The inhabitants of some of the larger villages are beginning to construct ceremonial platforms, a feature which will be very prominent in later South American civilization.

Next map, South America in 2500 BCE

Dig Deeper

The coming of farming


Pre-Columbian civilizations of America


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