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Caral: The first city in the New World

August 18, 2007
A brief article on a stunning archaeological discovery in South America. About six years ago, Peruvian/American archaeologist Ruth Shady, introduced the “oldest city in America” to the world. It was Caral; an ancient city on the Pacific coast of Peru, with trade centers, temples and a pyramid complex not less impressive than its counterparts in Mexico and Guatemala. The most exciting thing about Caral was its age: The city was carbon dated to ca. 3000 BCE, which strongly suggested a radical change in history textbooks. All evidence show Caral was not an exception in the region and there are many more ancient towns, waiting to be discovered. Another interesting thing about Caral is, its surprisingly peaceful social order. Archaeologists found no city walls, no forts, no signs of an army and even not a single weapon in Caral. Once again, thanks to Ruth Shady for this fantastic discovery.
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For years it was believed that the first city built in the Americas was in the Andes of South America. More recently, however, archaeologists are excavating a site over a thousand years older than anything previously discovered in an unlikely place: the desert plains of the Supe Valley in Peru
Situated near a river, this site known as Caral has been dated to approximately 2627 B.C. This would mean that the city, which has an extensive complex of pyramids and public buildings, predates even the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt.
Caral was occupied roughly from 3000 BC to 2000 BC, when for some reason the city was abandoned.
One singularly unique thing about Caral is the lack of signs of conflict.
The city had no walls, no fortifications, no signs of any military whatsoever. Even more significant, they found no weapons anywhere.
Carbon dating of sites near Caral have revealed dates as old as 2950 BC, indicating that Caral might have been the culmination of hundreds of years of complex building
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