Chivateros is an ancient stone tool quarry and associated workshop located near the mouth of the Chillón river in the Ventanilla District, northwest of Lima, Peru.[1]

Location in Peru
LocationChillón valley
RegionVentanilla District
Coordinates11°56′54″S 77°3′39″W
Length35 m (115 ft)
Associated withhunter-gatherers, EL HOMBRE DE CHIVATEROS
Site notes
Excavation dates1963, 1966, 1970
ArchaeologistsThomas C. Patterson, Edward P. Lanning, Claude Chauchat

Archaeological site

Excavations were led by archaeologists Thomas C. Patterson and Edward P. Lanning in 1963 and 1966, who noticed three cultural assemblages in the Chillón valley and uncovered large quantities of debris of lithic artifact production, initially interpreted as lithic instruments (hand axes, spearheads, scrapers, etc.).

An area of coastal lomas (areas of fog vegetation), excavations revealed a lithic flake industry as early as the Late Pleistocene, dating between 9,000 and 11,000 years ago. Wood fragments helped define a Chivateros I period of 9500-8000 BC. There is also a red zone with some flint chips which, by comparison of artifacts of the nearby Oquendo workshop, dates to pre-10,500 BC. The whole industry is characterized by burins and bifaces with the upper-level (Chinateros II) containing long, keeled, leaf-shaped projectile points which resemble points from both Lauricocha II and El Jobo. Dating has been aided by the deposition of both loess and salt crust layers which suggest alternating dryness and humidity and which can be synchronized with glacial activity in the Northern Hemisphere.[2]

For a long time it was mistakenly regarded as the greatest lithic workshop in Peru, when in reality it is a large area of canteo, that is to say, a place or quarry where groups of hunter-gatherers paijanenses were supplied with raw materials of the place, in order to make pedunculated tips, known as tips paijanenses or tips Paiján. Popularly the old inhabitant of this area has been called as the Chivateros man.

Exploration of the site's vicinity, the area near the mouth of the Chillon River and the desert around Ancon, revealed a large settlement complex of ancient hunter-gatherers near the quarries and quarry workshop. Among them are Cerro Chivateros, Cerro Oquendo and La Pampilla.

The stratigraphic sequence:

  • Red Zone (12,000 - 10,500 BC)
  • Oquendo (10,500 - 9,500 BC)
  • Chivateros I (9,500 - 8,000 BC)
  • Chivateros II (8,000 - 6,000 BC)

Chivateros was dated by samples of non-carbonized wood associated with the final phase of Chivateros I. Subsequent surveys of French archaeologist Claude Chauchat, in the 1970s, came up with the finding similar sites Chivateros in Cupisnique, managing associate with workshops stemmed points of Paijanense with a dating going back to the eighth millennium BC Later works have It is possible to know that sites on the north coast, of the Chivateros type, date back to the tenth millennium BC.[3]

It is a quarry

Chivateros was initially defined as a gigantic lithic workshop of the Paleolithic. They identified these lithic pieces, made of quartzite, like knives, scrapers, arrowheads and hand axes. Moreover, they established a factual differentiation between what they called Chivateros I and Chivateros II, establishing equivalents in other points of America.

Thanks to the works of Chauchat in Cupisnique and Chicama, this interpretation has already been overcome. This archaeologist has determined that Chivateros was actually a quarry, and that there was not only one site of this type, but many Chivateros sites, for much of the Peruvian coast and Yungas (which have been baptized as Chivateros quarries), where groups of hunter-gatherers were supplied raw materials, partially processed rock and took her to their workshops located close to their homes or near the quarries already mentioned.

The most notorious material of these quarries are the Chivateros preforms (erroneously called by Lanning as "Axes of Hand" and "Spearheads"), which were the first outline of pedunculate tips. The rest of lithic materials are nothing more than wastes of the activity of carving and edging.

People who provisioned the raw material Chivateros hill, lived in Pampa Piedras Gordas and in Carabayllo, where Lanning found his workshops and housing areas, baptizing as Lítico Light Complex . There preforms Chivateros type was processed to be converted into pedunculadas tips type Paijanense. This tradition spread along the Peruvian coast from Lambayeque to Ica and covers between 10,000 BC to 6000 BC.[4]

Current status

Since its discovery in the 1960s, Chivateros was constantly plundered by collectors, school and general population to obtain some lithic artifact. In spite of its importance, the Peruvian government never took any plan of care of the site. Subsequently, the activity of private companies and the illegal occupation of land by traffickers has destroyed most of this important archaeological site.


  2. "Chivateros CATEGORY: site". Archaeology wordsmith. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  3. "UCLA RADIOCARBON DATES". Institute of Geophysics, University of California. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  4. "EL HOMBRE DE CHIVATEROS EL HOMBRE DE CHIVATEROS". Retrieved December 25, 2016.


  • ^ Richard W. Keatinge (10 March 1988). Peruvian Prehistory: An Overview of Pre-Inca and Inca Society. Cambridge University Press. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-0-521-27555-2.
  • ^ Karen Olsen Bruhns (4 August 1994). Ancient South America. Cambridge University Press. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-0-521-27761-7.
  • ^ Sigfried J. de Laet (1994). History of Humanity: Prehistory and the beginnings of civilization. Taylor & Francis. pp. 344–. ISBN 978-92-3-102810-6.
  • Cardich, Augusto: Origen del hombre y de la cultura andinos. Tomo I de la Historia del Perú, pp. 108–109. Lima, Editorial Juan Mejía Baca, 1982. Cuarta edición. ISBN 84-499-1606-2
  • Kaulicke, Peter: "El Perú Antiguo I (9000 a.C.-200d.C.) Los periodos arcaico y formativo". Tomo primero de la Historia del Perú. Empresa Editora El Comercio S.A. Lima, 2010. ISBN 978-612-4069-86-4
  • Tauro del Pino, Alberto: Enciclopedia Ilustrada del Perú. Tercera Edición. Tomo 4. CAN/CHO. Lima, PEISA, 2001. ISBN 9789972401497
  • Silva Sifuentes, Jorge E. T.: «Origen de las civilizaciones andinas». Incluida en la Historia del Perú, p. 50. Lima, Lexus Editores, 2000. ISBN 9972-625-35-4
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