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Paracas Culture

Pre-Inca Culture  (600 BC - 200 EC) established on the peninsula of Paracas, influencing the area which is now known as the department of Ica.

Characterized by their big, underground necropolis where bodies were preserved as mummies wrapped in luxurious cloths and mantles, forming conical bales that were conserved under excellent conditions by the characteristics of the sands of the area, and craneal trepanations, . On their first stage the mummies were located in collective tombs, dug in the form of caverns. On their second stage the mummies were buried directly in the earth.

Their knowledge of medicine was advanced, just as they demonstrated, the remains of surgical operations to the brain (craneal trepanations) with the patients' survival. These people used to deform their skulls while still alive, givenig them a 'lengthened head '.

Their textile art is considered as the best of all ancient cultures.  They used vicuña wool or cotton; harmonious and with many colors, animal designs, anthropomorphous and geometric, some included feathers.

Their ceramic did not reach remarkable development. Paracas ceramics, influenced by the Chavin culture, included simple shapes, with many colors and illustrations as well as drawings that are similar to the Nazca culture. The double-peaked bottles united with a handle bridge; one of these peaks was sometimes replaced with forms of heads of birds, with the shape of animals or anthropomorphous and the body painted in the bottle. They also highlighted their plates, cups and single-necked bottles.  Their ceramic was made without molsd and baked in closed ovens.

Their economic activity was based on agriculture and fishing; the agrarian activity had the intelligent handling of the waters (aqueducts) on deserts, that progressed by means of artificial watering channels and use of the guano a fertilizer.

The main cultural center is located in Cerro Colorado, whithin the National Reserve of Paracas.

See Site Museum Julio C. Tello

To appreciate their invaluable ceramic pieces, textile and funeral bales you can go to the Archaeological museums o Peru, Larco Herrera, and Museo de la Nación in the city of Lima.

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