The Moche or Mochica culture developed between 100 and 700 D. C. in the Valley of Moche River (in the present province of Trujillo, department of La Libertad). This culture spread to the valleys of the northern coast of Peru.
They were great architects and their raw material was adobe. They built monumental religious complexes comprised of palaces and temples or huacas. They were the best metallurgists in all of South America. They gilded copper much earlier than in Europe. They are considered the best potters of ancient Peru, thanks to the fine work done in developing its ceramics.
The Mochicas also had extensive experience as fishermen that one can still see in the ancient rafts still used and are still made on the Peruvian Coast, the so-called reed horses, small, one person reed canoes. They fished for several species of fish and collected seafood such as sea urchins and crabs. They were great navigators particularly due to the special attraction the sea had on them. Armed with their small reed rafts, which were already about three thousand years old then, they became skilled fishermen. With larger boats (reed rafts, or possibly logs) they organized expeditions that arrived to the Chincha Islands to extract the guano which they used for fertilizing the fields. There is evidence that they made expeditions to Ecuador in the north, and even down to Chile to the south. From Ecuador they brought Spondyllus shells, sacred to the Moche, with which they made bracelets or they crushed the shell and dusted their temples and palaces; from Chile they brought Lapislazuli.
They also possessed warrior ships that were manned by more than three or four people and carrying military groups or war prisoners. All these boats are not different from those made by other coastal cultures from 1000 B.C.
The Tiwanaku Civilization would have inherited their technological knowledge, institutions and symbolic forms from the Wankarani Civilization of highlands of Oruro, Chiripa on the shore of Lake Titicaca and Pukara in northern basin (J. Berenguer, 2000). When the Spanish invaders arrived, the Incas told them that they inherited their traditions and knowledge from Tiwanakotas. They were one of the oldest cultures of America (1580 B.C.to A.D. 1200), with more than 27 centuries of existence. Tiwanaku was divided into 3 phases: Villager (Period I and II, 1580 BC - 45 AD.), Urban (Period III and IV; 45 AD - 700 AD.) and the Expansive (Period V, 700 AD - 1200 AD). This culture based its economy on agriculture and livestock, and included the territories of the Collao Plateau, southwestern Peru, southeastern Bolivia, northwestern Argentina and northern Chile, regions from which they radiated their technological and religious influence to other contemporary civilizations. Their main headquarters were located at 3842 meters was above sea level.
In terms of marine technology, there is no clear evidence of oceanic navigation. Beyond the existing archaeological samples in their art, there is a gap of written information since it is an ancient culture. However, making a cultural parallel between Polynesia and Tiwanaku, there are human stone monoliths, juncos (reeds), sweet potatoes, etc. similar, both in South America and Polynesia. This suggests that the knowledge and the existence of these elements were taken in ancient times by Tiwanakotas using maritime navigation.
Changos or Camanchaco Culture
This culture lived among Camaná, Peru and the region of Coquimbo, Chile, on the west central coast of South America, where tools, remains of worked rock and other elements were found. One of this is the "conchales" or rock deposits accumulated over centuries by people or tribes who ate mostly seafood (Alvarez Hidalgo, 2003).
The roots of this culture are found in the Chinchorro culture, about 8000 years ago. The Chinchorros were hunter/gatherers and fishermen and are a noted civilization by the way they used to bury their dead and preformed mummification.The Changos were organized in small family groups and worshiped death because they buried their dead with their fishing tools (bone harpoons tied to a leather cord). A key aspect is the contact they have with pre and post Inca settlements. The Tiwanaka expansion of the IX century moved around the whole Colesuyo and found ancient villages on the coast like Camanchacos, Puquinas, Atacameños and urus . They fished for what they used with inflatable rafts made with sea lion leather. On top of these rafts they built a wooden platform, where there was space to hold one to four crew. For transportation they used rafts made of logs. As narrated by the Spanish Fray Reginaldo de Lizarraga, when they hunted sea lions, they drank their blood and some of it was left in their beards where the blood went bad. (Alvarez Hidalgo, 2003).This civilization became extinct around 1890, their last settlements in the Paposo cove in Taltal and in Tacna, Peru.
“In this part of the land there are some small coves with few sources of healthy water, they were some fishermen, poor and almost naked Indians. They wear sea lion skin, in some parts they drink the sea lion blood due to lack of water. They do not possess corn. Their food is fish and seafood.”
Fray Reginaldo de Lizarraga
There are diverse types of cultures in this vast area: Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Australia’s cultural history includes diverse cultures, specifically more than 400 aboriginal people and was developed in insular way, resulting in a variety of languages and customs. In general, they had a life of hunter/gatherers and were distributed in semi-nomadic groups that travel long distances. It is thought they have migrated from Asia in the first inhabitants of the island continent. Today it is considered the world's oldest living culture, the oldest remains found date back to 50,000 years ago ("The Mungo Man") according to the National Park Mungo in Sydney, but some experts believe that the first migrations could have taken place 125,000 years ago.The Melanesian Culture also consisted of a great cultural diversity (more than 400 dialects are known), and extended from the Western Pacific Ocean, Arafura Sea, bordered to the south by Australia, the West with Indonesia, North with Micronesia and Polynesia to the east . The first Melanesian groups had come from South Asia, about 40,000 years ago. Today the aboriginal legacy is almost extinct due to demographic decline, the imposition of cultural assimilation and the four hundred years of missionary evangelization. Their culture had a strong taste for violence and sacrifice, they even practiced ritual cannibalism. But other tribes were very advanced, some specialized in trade, maritime technology and fishing. They moved in small groups and stayed in the settlements.
Micronesia is the region including the islands of the Western Pacific Ocean. It is a matriarchal culture composed mainly of clans. There are seven major ethnic groups, the largest being the Chuuk (48 % of the population).
Polynesians are partially descendants of Austronesia's (ancient Asian sailors possibly would have begun to populate the year 1000 BC and would be located between Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island (PV Kirch , 2002). According to experts, the Polynesians would have maintained contact with America through the Incas and other ancient cultures, which possibly would have sailed westward to this area.
Oceanic Theory by Paul Rivet (1876-1958)
At the present, there are several theories about how mankind spread around the world. As for South America, theories largely accepted by the scientific world are those which say that, in addition to cross the Bering Strait to South America, the ancient men and women have also arrived to the mainland through an ocean route. According to the French ethnologist, Paul Rivet, Melanesians and Polynesians arrived in Central America from Australia, where they were dispersing slowly, about 1000 BC. (M. Pino , 2012) .
The author based on anthropological arguments, such as bone and blood similarity between Melanesians and men and women of Lagoa-Santa (ancient inhabitants and hunters from Brazil about 6,000 BC ) and also he used Ethnic foundations to support his theory, for example similar rituals and traditions between the two cultures (trophy head hunting, mutilation, etc.). Cultural foundations on which he based are the use of hammocks, mosquito nets, drums etc. There are some linguistic evidence such as the similarities between Melanesians and Hoka Tribe of North America (M. Pino , 2012).
Australian Theory by Antonio Méndez Correa
According to the Portuguese anthropologist, there was a migration from Australia to South America via Antarctica. Ancient men and women would have made this perilous journey using simple boats or rafts. They would have come to the Americas via Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia spreading northward according to several studies conducted by Mendez Correa in these places around the 1920s. He concluded that there were many similarities between the two cultures that supported his theory. The natives of the area: Onas, Kon, Tehuelches, Alacalufes and Yaganes, have several physical similarities with the Polynesians, as well as similarities in the language, traditions, blood type, resistance to cold, skull shapes, use of the boomerang, among others (M. Pino, 2012).
The Norwegian anthropologist and explorer discovered in its various investigations in Peru, many clues that led him to deepen his knowledge about the legend of the God Tiki. It was in this way that he learned the legend of the god Wirakocha word that comes from an Inca (Ketchua ), representing the God-Sun.To this, the legend Tupac Yupanqui is added. A descendant of Wiracocha (A. Crespo Rodas, 2006), who is best known for its famous maritime expedition in which Polynesia would have been found. There are at least three writers who claimed that he sailed with an army of sailing rafts from Manta to Ninachumbi (Fire Island) and Ahuachumbi (remote island) to where they left and returned after a year. Those who study these legends believe that one option is that they could have reached the Galapagos Island and another that would have gone to the Tuamotu archipelago in eastern Polynesia. The second theory has more strength because it still is remembered in Mangareva legends, located in the archipelago of Tuamotu, as the warrior king Tupa who arrived on sailing rafts from a country where the sun was born. The legend says that the king returned to his kingdom and no one heard from him again.From these legends, he was inspired by the idea that perhaps men and women may have traveled from South America, like the God Viracocha to west, contrary to what had been thought for years. Through his expeditions, Thor Heyerdahl managed to verify experimentally that the ancient natives of South America could navigate perfectly across the ocean with the type of vessels that they had available to them at that time. Thor Heyerdahl led and archeological expedition to Easter Island on a modern boat. They discovered many similarities to South America including stone monoliths similar to those found in Tiwanaku, Bolivia and plants found to have their origins in the Americas (C. Cabo de la Maza, 2006). The expedition continued on to other Polynesian islands (Henderson, Pitcairn, Mangareva, Raivavae, Tubuai, Tahiti, Raiatea and Marquesas Islands), where vestiges of South American civilizations were also found.Based on these studies, Thor Heyerdahl postulated two theories about the possible migration to South America. The first is known as the "Theory of Protopolinesian Immigration". Protopolinesian native people from Indonesia would have travelled along the west coast of North America following the Kuroshio current. They continued down the Central American Coast before heading to the west, which led to them first to find the Polynesia islands and create settlements and colonies there. To this recognized theory new findings are added in genome studies on Easter Island, which have concluded that there is about an 8% mix with Native American in natives of Rapa Nui, confirming results of previous studies in the HLA complex (Human Leukocyte Antigen). It is the first time a result of this kind is recorded in Polynesia. According to this research, there would be two possible scenarios that are mutually exclusive; the first, which has been a mixed event after the arrival of Europeans, such as the slave trade; and the second is that there has been a mixing event before the arrival of Europeans, i.e. Some oversea trip undertaken by people before settlers (J. V. Moreno- Mayar, Simon Rasmussen, et al. , 2014 )The second theory is called "Theory of African Immigration", which states that native people from Mediterranean Africa of Caucasian race (from Egypt and Mauritania) would have traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America, across the Atlantic Ocean. According to this theory, these ancient sailors and colonists would have been the same who built the pyramids of Giza and Yucatan.Thus, his theories are taking shape and becoming scientific contributions. It just needs to be shown that you can cross the Pacific Ocean in an ancient boat. "The demonstration of cultural relations is anticipated with reed rafts of Titicaca Lake, identical to the ancient Egyptians." (C . Cabo de la Maza, 2006). It is for this reason that he made his next expeditions, Ra I and II. After the failure of the first trip with Ra I, the second raft was built by the hands of experts of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, the Aymara Indigenous group. They tested the latter migration theory and in 50 days made it across the Atlantic successfully in the Ra II reed raft.In conclusion, Thor Heyerdahl set forth a "civilizing triangle", which includes colonization from America to Polynesia and the cultural union with African Egypt across the Atlantic.
Scientific Importance of Viracocha Expeditions
The problem of how Polynesia was populated has caused more controversy than most any other puzzle in the history of anthropology.There is no doubt that Asia played an important role in human migrations that populated much of the Pacific, but there are other possibilities from other directions that have been discredited by many experts and perhaps occurred long before any migration from Asia.Many anthropologists rule out the possibility that South Americas had contact with Polynesia, arguing that the ships available to native South Americans in recent millennia and sailors who manned them were not able to make long trips in the open ocean. However, there is contrary evidence indicating quite the opposite throughout South America, such as reed boats drawings stocked with water and supplies for long trips. This valuable information is depicted in the pyramids in South America as well as in numerous ceramic art that clearly shows the drawing of maritime sailing rafts made of reeds and balsa logs rafts in Peru, Bolivia and Chile.The elements favor a western movement by ocean currents and winds that prevail across the South Pacific directly from the coast of Chile/Peru, where ancient pre-Inca civilizations regularly dominated the coasts and possessed rafts and materials used for its construction. Sailing against these natural migration routes would have been difficult in any style boat of the time.Moreover, giant stone heads or Moai of Easter Island have become one of the most important symbols of the unsolved mysteries of antiquity. Likewise, the little known city Tiwuanaku, located in the highlands of Bolivia, which also has giant stone shapes and pyramids, is also a baffling mystery today. Could they have been related? There are numerous similarities between Tiwuanaku and Polynesian islands suggesting a common ancestry.Some of these parallels between the two regions include the use of reed rafts, rock sculpture, stepped pyramids, sun worship, useful plant species, cults and rituals that include man-bird shapes, and the practice of deforming and lengthening their ears among many other similarities.
One of the most striking South American legends refers to God the Creator Sun; Kon-Tiki Viracocha or simply Viracocha. According to this legend, a he appeared as a white-skinned and bearded, something not seen in the New World. He created man and civilization, i.e. the city of Tiwuanaku in today's Bolivia. This city was built with stepped pyramids, human shapes made of rock and stone works of large blocks of fine stonework, using reed rafts to transport large blocks of stone to the site. When his work was finished, he travelled to the coast with some of his followers and disappeared to the west by sea, following the setting sun. Almost simultaneously, according to legend of Easter Island, the first settlers came from the east. Could the Viracocha people have been the first settler of Easter Island which carried the seeds of civilization?
The Inca Tupac Yupanqui
The Spanish chronicler Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa uncovered a version of the story that the Inca Tupac Yupanqui had sailed from the coast of Ecuador, in the year 1465, with a fleet of rafts, reaching some islands called Ninachumbi and Auachumbi. Paul Rivet and Thor Heyerdahl interpreted Aua-Chumbi as Mangareva in the mid Pacific and Nina-Chumbi as Easter Island (Guliayev 1992: 276). This may have been a real event and not just a legend.
An important fact for scientific validation of the Viracocha Expedition is the existence of the ceremonial center Ahu Vinupu on Easter Island, a stone wall built of large slabs, carefully made to fit together, which is different from any other existing on the island and very similar to the Inca walls of Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru. According to the Peruvian historian, J. A. del Busto and others like J. H. D aude, based on the Spanish chronicles accounts of the sixteenth century, such as P. Sarmiento, that Ahu Vinapu was built by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui during his expedition in the Pacific during the year 1465.
The historian José Antonio del Busto is given credit to have discovered the fact that on the Pacific Island of Mangareva exists a legend about a King Tupa who came from the East on rafts with sails, bringing jewelry, ceramics and textiles. A similar story exists in the Marquesas Islands to the North. Moreover, he adds that the Ahu Vinapu on Easter Island, which is constructed similarly to the Inca stonework of Cusco, Peru and that the King Tupa in Rapa Nui have taken the name of Mahuna-Te Ra'a, translated as “Son of the Sun” based on a Rapa Nui legend. It is estimated that the Inca voyage took nine months. Here is the story, chronicled by Sarmiento de Gamboa:
“And Topa Inga Yupanqui was conquering Manta coast and Puna & Túmbez island, some merchant landed there who came from the sea to the west sailing in raft. They were informed that the land they came from was called Auachumbi and the other Ninachumbe, where many people lived and there is gold..…it was determined that they would go there. For this reason a large number of rafts were made, they departed with more than twenty thousand chosen soldiers. Topa Inga sailed west and then discovered Auachumbi and Ninachumbi Islands. He came back with black people and a large amount of gold and other metals and the skin and jaw of a horse. Topa Inga Yupanqui took more than nine months, some say he took a year, as he took so much time he was presumed to be dead, as there was no news about Topa Inga…”
Surely the biggest indicator of migration of primitive men is the botanical evidence. There are several species of plants that have been found in both Polynesia and South America which is widely recorded by the first European explorers that visited those regions, particularly in the case of useful plants, i.e. an explorer of new land probably would have carried on a long journey. The plant list includes reed (Scirpus Riparius), which was used to build reed boats. This plant, coincidentally, grows on the shores of Titicaca lake near Tiwuanaku and the crater lakes of Easter Island.Other useful plants found in both regions are tomatoes, the sweet potato, tobacco, the bottle gourd, papaya, wild pineapple and coconut palm. It has been proven that many of these plant species have existed longer in the Americas than in Polynesia, suggesting a western migration from South America. It has also been understood that most of these plants could only have been transported by man, because the seeds could not have survived drifting at sea or via the migratory flight of a bird.