Nazca Civilization (200 B.C.-600 A.D.) and Tiawanaku Civilization (100 B.C. – 1200 A.D.)
With the Nazca civilization, we enter the era of polychrome ceramics. The most common items are cups, bowls, bottle-vases and globular vases with bridge-shaped handles.
They depict both real people and mythical figures (the Mythical Anthropomorphic Being, the Feline, the Killer Whale, the monstrous Bird and the Snake), as well as war scenes that make us think theirs was mainly a warrior society. This culture was also made famous by their typical geoglyphs or “Nazca Lines” – a series of large drawings of animal figures constructed on the desert coastal plains of El Ingenio, which are mostly visible from the air.
The Tiawanaku Civilization flourished on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in today’s Bolivia, but its influence spread across the whole Peru. This culture went through three stages, the latest of which is characterized by painted or carved polychrome geometric and figurative decorations (animals, decapitated bodies and ‘trophy-heads’). Flared cups and moulded vases are the most common items. However, the Tiawanaku culture is especially known for its architecture, sculpture and engraved stones. Their artistic production dates back to the middle period and developed in the homonymous ceremonial centre. Here they erected two important temples and two important sculptures: a male figure known by the name of El fraile (‘The Frair’) and the Puerta del Sol (‘Gate of the Sun’), a monolith which represents an anthropomorphic figure standing on a terraced platform, holding a stick in each hand and surrounded by six anthropo-zoomorphic figures.