The first Peruvians were nomadic hunters, gatherers and fishers. Later they domesticated llamas, alpacas and guinea pigs. They cultivated 4000 varieties of potatoes. They were also well-known for there pottery, metalwork and their textiles.
The Inca civilization began in the 12th century. The first wave of Incan expansion started with Pachacutec; the ninth Inca, he had a bloody taste for conquest. The Incan empire grew for the next 25 years. The borders stretched until the present-day border of Ecuador and Columbia to the desert of northern Chile. Machu Picchu and several others mountaintop citadels, were build in this time.
When the Europeans ‘discovered’ the New World, they brought epidemics with them, from Central America and the Caribbean. The 11th Inca, Huayna Capàc died of such an epidemic. Before dying, he divided his empire between his two sons. The pure-blooded native Cuzqueñan Huàscar got Cuzco and the south of the Empire and the other son Atahualpa, born of a Quitan mother, got the north of the Empire. Due to several civil wars, the downfall of the Inca Empire began.
In 1526, Francisco Pizarro discovered the rich coastal settlements of the Incan empire. He returned to Spain to get money and men for the conquest. When Pizarro came back, Atahualpa had defeated his half brother.
Atahualpa was ambushed by a few dozen armed conquistadores who succeeded in capturing him, killing thousands of unarmed indigenous tribe people. In an attempt to regain his freedom, the Inca offered a ransom of gold and silver from Cuzco.
But after holding Atahualpa prisoner for a number of months and teasing the Incas with ransom requests Pizarro murdered him anyway, and soon marched on Cuzco. Mounted on horseback, protected by armor and swinging steel swords, the Spanish cavalry was unstoppable. Despite sporadic rebellions, the Inca Empire was forced to retreat into the mountains and jungle, and never recovered its glorious prestige or extent.
In 1535 Pizarro founded the capital, Lima. Decades of turmoil ensued, with Peruvians resisting their conquerors who were fighting among themselves for control over the rich colony. Pizarro was assassinated in 1541, by the son of conquistador Diego de Almagro, whom Pizarro had put to dead in 1538. The Incas tried to defeat the Spaniards, but never succeeded.
By the early 1800s rebellion begun, due to the high taxes and the desire to take control of the country’s rich mineral deposits, beginning with guano (seabird droppings) used for fertilizer. José San Martìn declared Peru’s independence in 1821, the Spanish surrendered in 1826.After several boarder wars with Chile and Ecuador, a peace treaty was signed in 1998.