New indigenous American civs? Suggestions and discussion

Krieger-FS

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Continuing the discussion in the new African civs, I’m opening a thread focused on the suggestions for new American civs for the new and larger map. The idea is to concentrate all the proposals in a single place to discuss and, hopefully, help to improve the mod.

Please note that we are deliberately focusing on the indigenous/native American civs (whether pre-Columbian or not) and not post-colonial ones (former European colonies). Also, keep in mind that some indigenous peoples may be a little harder to design in the mod, since many of them have not developed an urban-based society and may be more described as a “tribal” one, thus we possibly need to think about how to represent in game these types of complex societies before including these civs. There is another thread discussing these other forms of social organization (sedentary non-urban [“tribal”] and nomadic) and specifically Leoreth ideas about this topic are here.

So, what are your thoughts and suggestions for new American civs?

_____

As stated in the new African civs thread, I’d like to start thinking and discussing about the Andean civilizations and will make several suggestions about them; in fact, many of my ideas will also impact the existent Andean civ (the Inca) and are more some thoughts and ideas for an overhaul of the region. So, to begin with, I’d like to present a small historical trajectory and classification of the Andean civilizations before going to the proper suggestions. As you may know, the Andes are one of the few cradles of civilization in the world, and it is as ancient as Mesopotamia and Egypt, while maintaining some unique cultural aspects that lasted until the Spanish conquest.

The traditional scholarly periodization of pre-Columbian Andean region is defined as horizons, which are marked by certain cultural and political characteristics that were common to the entire region. This cultural unification was often promoted by a major empire or as result of a religious movement, also usually being a period of stability and growing urbanization. Following each horizon, we have some intermediate periods, which are marked by the emergence of several other polities and cultures, decline and abandonment of the former large urban centers and reversion to a more subsistence economy until one of the said polities/cultures could (re)unify the region again.

Bellow I’ve listed the most important cultures in each of the horizons and intermediate periods. In bold are the ones that I think are good candidates for inclusion (that we have reasonable information to design and should be interesting to play) and in italics are the ones which may be minor civs (represented as indy/native/barbarian cities or units; in most of the cases they were confined to small polities and/or we don’t have much info about). Also note that 1) I’m deliberately focusing, at least in these first suggestions, on Andean civilization in the sense of the civs that were part of a common Andean cultural heritage and were located in modern-day Peru, Bolivia, and parts of Chile and Ecuador; 2) some of these civs lasted longer or emerged earlier than the dates provided, therefore, these dates do not represent suggestions for spawn dates or gameplay duration for each civ.


Pre-ceramic (4000 BCE – 1800 BCE)
Formative period (1800 BCE – 900 BCE)
Early Horizon (900 BCE – 200 BCE)
Early Intermediate (200 BCE – 600 CE)
Middle Horizon (600 CE – 1000 CE)
Late Intermediate (1000 CE – 1476 CE)
Late Horizon (1476 CE- 1534 CE)
  • Inca Empire

In the following days I’ll post my first in-depth suggestion regarding Norte Chico/Caral, and also some ideas of how to represent the subsequent formative/early horizon periods. Also, if anyone has some ideas for any of these civs, I'd love to hear you!
 

Leoreth

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Great, love to see you doing this. I agree with your selection of cultures that are interesting to consider. One perspective I would like to emphasise is the question whether any of these could be regarded as continuous with each other. I think this is desirable because just having multiple sequential civilisations in the Andean region does not make the region more interesting, and seems forced. And it's possible that there is not enough to each particular of these cultures to get a sufficient set of unique assets and goals, while a potential umbrella civs could span a more comfortable timespan and have more interesting goals. I don't want to presuppose anything, just bring this perspective up for consideration.
 

Krieger-FS

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Yeah, few of these civs can be regarded as continous of previous ones. The most clear exemple is the Moche and Chimú, which may likely have been two different states (though in different periods) from the same people. Likewise, some of the listed "minor civs" can argably be conected with later cultures. I'm aware of these cases and they are taken up for consideration for the suggestions.
 

ShinobiHus92

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Very good idea by starting these kinda discussions, and I really like to see how passionate you are researching all these civilizations. Unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable about pre columbian civilizations, but can I also mention now about non Andean civs? Any thoughts about the Pueblo civilization? The Iroquois are also very interessting since they interacted with the British and French and later the Americans :)
 

Krieger-FS

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Well, the thread is about any suggestions regarding indigenous/native American peoples, so you and anyone interested in the topic are welcome and encouraged to give your thoughts and suggestions about any of these possible civs!
I'm deliberately focusing on the Andean civs here because I feel that, in general, people know less about them than about the ones in Mesoamerica or these more contemporaneous peoples. I honestly don't know much about these North American peoples, so I'd love to hear your ideas!
 
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Continuing the discussion in the new African civs, I’m opening a thread focused on the suggestions for new American civs for the new and larger map. The idea is to concentrate all the proposals in a single place to discuss and, hopefully, help to improve the mod.

Please note that we are deliberately focusing on the indigenous/native American civs (whether pre-Columbian or not) and not post-colonial ones (former European colonies). Also, keep in mind that some indigenous peoples may be a little harder to design in the mod, since many of them have not developed an urban-based society and may be more described as a “tribal” one, thus we possibly need to think about how to represent in game these types of complex societies before including these civs. There is another thread discussing these other forms of social organization (sedentary non-urban [“tribal”] and nomadic) and specifically Leoreth ideas about this topic are here.

So, what are your thoughts and suggestions for new American civs?

_____

As stated in the new African civs thread, I’d like to start thinking and discussing about the Andean civilizations and will make several suggestions about them; in fact, many of my ideas will also impact the existent Andean civ (the Inca) and are more some thoughts and ideas for an overhaul of the region. So, to begin with, I’d like to present a small historical trajectory and classification of the Andean civilizations before going to the proper suggestions. As you may know, the Andes are one of the few cradles of civilization in the world, and it is as ancient as Mesopotamia and Egypt, while maintaining some unique cultural aspects that lasted until the Spanish conquest.

The traditional scholarly periodization of pre-Columbian Andean region is defined as horizons, which are marked by certain cultural and political characteristics that were common to the entire region. This cultural unification was often promoted by a major empire or as result of a religious movement, also usually being a period of stability and growing urbanization. Following each horizon, we have some intermediate periods, which are marked by the emergence of several other polities and cultures, decline and abandonment of the former large urban centers and reversion to a more subsistence economy until one of the said polities/cultures could (re)unify the region again.

Bellow I’ve listed the most important cultures in each of the horizons and intermediate periods. In bold are the ones that I think are good candidates for inclusion (that we have reasonable information to design and should be interesting to play) and in italics are the ones which may be minor civs (represented as indy/native/barbarian cities or units; in most of the cases they were confined to small polities and/or we don’t have much info about). Also note that 1) I’m deliberately focusing, at least in these first suggestions, on Andean civilization in the sense of the civs that were part of a common Andean cultural heritage and were located in modern-day Peru, Bolivia, and parts of Chile and Ecuador; 2) some of these civs lasted longer or emerged earlier than the dates provided, therefore, these dates do not represent suggestions for spawn dates or gameplay duration for each civ.


Pre-ceramic (4000 BCE – 1800 BCE)
Formative period (1800 BCE – 900 BCE)
Early Horizon (900 BCE – 200 BCE)
Early Intermediate (200 BCE – 600 CE)
Middle Horizon (600 CE – 1000 CE)
Late Intermediate (1000 CE – 1476 CE)
Late Horizon (1476 CE- 1534 CE)
  • Inca Empire

In the following days I’ll post my first in-depth suggestion regarding Norte Chico/Caral, and also some ideas of how to represent the subsequent formative/early horizon periods. Also, if anyone has some ideas for any of these civs, I'd love to hear you!
1SDAN for some reason hates what was his pretty fantastic expansion that included multiple American civs, so while there are bugs with regard to the UHVs, there's definitely a framework already in place. (I assume you should ask his permission before expanding on it.)

https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/civilizations-reborn.650169/
 
Last edited:

1SDANi

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1SDAN for some reason hates what was his pretty fantastic expansion that included multiple American civs, so while there are bugs with regard to the UHVs, there's definitely a framework already in place. (I assume you should ask his before permission expanding on it.)

https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/civilizations-reborn.650169/
I give permission for anyone to use my work as long as the work or theirs my work is in does not include any works they do not have permission to include. These terms are subject to change and I withhold the ability to revoke permission for any reason, but this is just because I can't be bothered to care about permission enough to write a list of dos and don'ts, what I included above is the one time I actually took issue with something someone was doing, and even then it was in the underhanded way they were trying to keep it secret, rather than the fact that they made it in general.

As for why I hated it, largely it's because it wasn't properly polished and I never did enough playtesting. The civs themselves were more or less fine, but the mod was full of bugs, the exact same problem that plagued my first attempt at modmodmodding. It was ambitious and I loved how it represented such a wealth of lesser known civilizations, but those civilizations deserved more. I'm still kicking myself over that one vassal bug that I only found out about months after ending development.

On the topic of the thread: I'd love the dynamic that Tiwanaku and Wari could have on the new map. They share a very cramped space on the current map, but with the little extra space the new map affords they can really capture this feeling of two titans staring each other down in a tiny pocket of the world.
 

Krieger-FS

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1SDAN for some reason hates what was his pretty fantastic expansion that included multiple American civs, so while there are bugs with regard to the UHVs, there's definitely a framework already in place. (I assume you should ask his before permission expanding on it.)

https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/civilizations-reborn.650169/

Yeah, I'm familiar with 1SDAN's modmod and agree that it was quite good. When I presented some ideas for the African civs, I mentioned and used some of his ideas (and of other people's modcomps) because they already ported those civs into RFC mechanics and thus offer a good framework.
In particular to the Andean civs in his modmod, I guess that I may have helped him a little with some ideas, since I gave some suggestions back then, but certainly will make references to his work. :)

On the topic of the thread: I'd love the dynamic that Tiwanaku and Wari could have on the new map. They share a very cramped space on the current map, but with the little extra space the new map affords they can really capture this feeling of two titans staring each other down in a tiny pocket of the world.

Agreed! I'd also add that the later Chimú and Inca dynamic, and the latter expansion in general, could be much more interesting and challenging with more space!
 

Krieger-FS

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Continuing my series of suggestions for new Andean civilizations, I’d like to start with the Norte Chico/Caral civilization, which is the oldest identified complex urban-based society in the region. Some of you may already know something about them because it was included in 1SDAN’s DocReborn, so for the sake of reference, here is how it is represented in the modmod:

New Update

New Civ: Norte Chico

Leader: Wiracocha
Spawn: 3000 BC at Caral with a Settler and a Worker
Situation: Agriculture and Mythology, no Civics

UP: The Power of Aceramics - Doubled :science: prior to the discovery of Pottery
UU: Ayllu - Replaces Worker. Creates 10 :culture: in the capital when it constructs an improvement
UB: Shicra - Replaces Monument. Half :hammers: cost.

UHV1: The Andean Progenitor - Have a capital with developing culture in 1800 BC
UHV2: Quipu - Be the first to discover Writing and Calendar
UHV3: Andean Metropolis - Have a capital with 5 populations and 6 buildings in 1500 BC

Note: The Norte Chico Civilization is intended to be a sort of tutorial for micro managing citizens. It is very hard, but possible with the correct strategy.

The first definition that we need to make here is to identify who is included in this proposed civ. This may be seeming like a strange question, but I’d like to point that the study of ancient Andean cultures and societies present several challenges that I discuss below. So, while it is somewhat obvious that we are including the Norte Chico/Caral civilization, potentially we can also use this civ as an "umbrella" to represent other possible related cultures in the Pre-Ceramic (4000-1800 BCE) and Formative period (1800-900 BCE), in particular Kotosh and Sechín-Casma.

That being said, let’s dive in history and archeological studies of these cultures, which hopefully would give a clear picture to design them.

Spoiler :

As you all may know, the Andes were one of the few (and interestingly also one of oldest) cradle of civilization in the world, roughly contemporaneous to Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Nonetheless, here civilization emerged in unique conditions, since the Peruvian littoral appears as an improbable candidate for the emergence of civilization when compared to other places, since it lacks any major rivers (most of them are small and intermittent as result of Andean snowmelt), is extremely arid and bounded with irregular rain. Yet, radiocarbon date shows monumental man-made structures here as old as 3700 BCE.

In cultural terms, there are also some unique aspects for this early civilization, some that were still shared with all the later cultures until the Spanish conquest. First and most striking, the Norte Chico/Caral completely lacked ceramics, even though the contemporaneous Valdivia culture in Ecuador already possessed it. Second, like all following Andean cultures, the civilization did not develop a formal system of writing, so all we know about them is the result of archeological research. So we even don't know how they called themselves, their language, cities or leaders; given how old this civilization was, they very likely were completly forgotten by the time of the Incas and Spanish conquest. And as additional note here, the archeological studies of these old civilizations are really recent. While some of these sites were identified as early as 1905, they were only noted as pre-ceramic by the 1980s and intensive field-research began in the 1990s; that means that we still don’t know much about them and there are some contradictions and controversy in the work of the main researchers.

The Norte Chico/Caral civ emerged around 4000-3500 BCE in the Supe river valley and surrounding areas, roughly 180 km north of Lima. There are about 20 cities in the region, which shows a surprisingly urbanized society that was inhabited with at least 20-30k people. Agriculture played a major role as expected and canal building was essential to the establishment of these earlier cities, but there are some unique aspects about it. The main agricultural product was cotton and the other major crop was some kinds of gourds (they were used as recipients that largely replaced the need of pottery for the civilization), while sweet potatoes, beans, and other cereals were of lesser importance. As such, we have a pattern of mixed subsistence that combined some form of food crops, foraging and fishing, which used the cotton produced for fishing nets. In fact, seafood seems to have been the main source of proteins for these populations and some researchers developed a theory (now criticized) that this civilization had maritime foundation.

Map with cities.jpg


Cotton and textile production played a central role in Norte Chico/Caral’s economy and society. It is hypothesized that it was produced in more inland areas and sold to the coastal cities, which consumed it to produce fishing equipment and bags and in its turn supply the inland areas with seafood. Thus, we have a relatively complex economic relationship between those cities and the control over the cotton production possibly meant a certain degree of political control; archeological findings of large stone warehouses built to storage cotton and textiles are indicatives of this economic-political system.

The heart of the civilization was the city of Caral, which is the largest and most impressive site of the civilization. While it wasn’t the oldest city in the region (Huaricanga is regarded as the first), it was the center of the region during the peak of the civilization between 2600-2000 BCE. The city was the hub of the cotton and textile network and engaged in long-distance trade of luxuries, importing shells (particularly the Spondylus, which had a religious meaning for them and several later Andean cultures) from coastal areas of Ecuador, dyes and feathers from the mountains and highlands, and even tropical products from jungle areas (possibly as far as the Amazon!).

We are uncertain about how Caral ruled over its subjects, but the government seems to be somewhat theocratic bounded in the traditional aspects of Andean social organization, with chief or ruler (that probably had similar role as the later Inca kuraka) and representatives of major families/clans (ayllu) that are the most primitive form of socio-political organization in the region. Another interesting fact is that there is no evidence of warfare during Norte Chico/Caral times, no archeological remains of mutilated bodies, weapons, burned buildings or defensive structures; this fact is a remarkable contrast with the general archeology theory that links the early state-formation process with widespread violence. We also know little about their religion, but gourd pieces were found depicting the so-called Staff God from around 2250 BCE. Giving that the Staff God reappears in later cultures, it is considered that Norte Chico/Caral’s religion was a template from later Andean religious patterns.

Caral itself was also a religious center, giving the emphasis and city organization centered in its major temples. Like other towns from that culture, it was built in a “U-shape” form and the main building (in the base of the “U”) was the largest structure, a step pyramid with a sunken circular plaza in front with some stairs to the top of the pyramid, where were located some dwellings and places for religious practices. These structures were built with shicra bags, a technique of using reed bags to keep the stones together and also provide an anti-seismic function useful for a region that suffers from regular earthquakes. The pyramids were commonly painted in white, yellow, and more rarely, red and their construction required a large and organized workforce; it seems that these workers were partially paid with dried fish (anchovies) in a work regime that may have been some primitive form of the traditional reciprocity exchange common to the later Andean cultures.

Caral.jpg

Caral

Aspero.jpg

Aspero

In terms of arts, the Norte Chico/Caral apparently didn’t had many visual arts (though some small clay figures, possibly related to a fertility ritual, were found and very recently a wall with several reliefs was found), but they developed instrumental music (some flutes made of pelican bones were discovered) and were prolific and ingenious with textiles, creating colorful clothes, wraps, adornments and necklaces. Besides that, textiles were also used to make quipus, a string-based recording device that may have been a form of proto-writing that was widely used in the Andean region until the Spanish conquest. They were also had seemingly some basic to more complex knowledge in mathematics and astronomy. Regarding the latter, they had an established calendar for all religious ceremonies, many structures were built following astronomical orientations and they established some observatories for religious purposes, whose main feature was a large monolith surrounded by a circular pattern of smaller stones.

Around 1800 BCE, the Norte Chico/Caral civilization declined, the most important cities were abandoned, and we are uncertain about the exact reasons, though catastrophic events derived from El Niño phenomenon are the most acceptable suggestion, whose torrential storms would flood the fields for years and would turn some fertile areas into sandy lands. Other suggestions point to huge earthquakes (some of the pyramids show signs of reconstructions post-seismic impacts) and there is also some few signs in Aspero (one of the largest coastal cities) that some buildings were occupied and destroyed by foreign populations, though is not very clear when that happened or who were these newcomers, and in general an invasion seems unlikely giving the lack of evidence. Thus, the collapse of the agriculture probably made the population leave the region, migrating (and bringing their knowledge in canal and city-building) to other areas in the coast and in the highlands around a time that new urban centers appeared in these other regions.

The Norte Chico/Caral civilization probably was some form of a united polity centered in Caral, but there was other towns, cultures and chiefdoms that developed independently in other areas of Peru that were roughly contemporaneous. More to the south, near modern-day Lima, there was a flourishing city that was almost certain the center of an independent chiefdom in the archeological site now known as El Paraíso. While some characteristics are the same from Norte Chico/Caral (the centrality of cotton, the shicra construction techniques and a mixed subsistence economy), there is many differences, particularly in how they planned and organized their city indicating that they weren’t the same people. The evidence point that the site was inhabited around 2400-1400 BCE, but its peak (when possibly had more or less the same population of Caral) lasted much less and the city was quickly depopulated, though apparently not from any identified catastrophic event.

El Paraíso.jpg

El Paraíso

To the north, the Sechín-Casma culture evolved around the Sechín river and it is, in many aspects, as impressive as the Norte Chico/Caral. For starts, the Sechín culture is responsible for the oldest known building and monumental architecture in the Americas, as in the site know as Sechín Bajo were found remains of an administrative/religious structure dating from 3600 BCE, which points that this civilization emerged at the same time of Norte Chico/Caral. The towns from that time were mostly coastal, relying in a mixed subsistence economy and, in particular, to fishing to survive. Just like in their neighbors in the south, cotton also had a central role, though agriculture here existed in a minor scale. Also, we have here evidence of warfare as some weapon remains were found. Coincidently, after the Norte Chico/Caral collapse, the Sechín agriculture expanded greatly with canal-building (similar to the ones from the former), almost all the earlier towns were rebuilt and expanded with new pyramids, plazas, and and pottery was developed. In fact, it was during the Formative period (1800-900 BCE) that Sechín achieved its peak, the region was unified under one polity and the site of Sechín Alto was the capital. Near the end of this period, the Sechín went through large cultural changes, indicating that they felt under influence or possibly political control from the Chavín culture from the highlands. The food, architecture and agriculture changed, which implies a foreign invasion: maize and domestic animals from the mountains (llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs) replaced the dependence on fishing; military themes became more common and prominent in the architecture, as depicted in Chankillo, the most important archeological site from this period. Impressively, the Sechín-Casma culture lasted until nearly the end of Early Horizon (900 BCE-200 CE), when the last sites and towns were abandoned around 200-100 BCE, partially destroyed in a unkown conflict.

Sechín Bajo.jpg

Sechín Bajo

Sechín Relieve.jpg

Relief of warrior in Sechín Alto

Finally, another near contemporaneous culture that shared some cultural aspects with the Norte Chico/Caral was Kotosh, named after its main archeological site. We are somewhat uncertain about its nature, being a culture or just some form of religious tradition. Nonetheless, the Kotosh emerged around 1800 BCE, but unlike the former cultures, this one appeared in the highlands. Considering the timing and architectural features of Kotosh, there is some few evidences that point a Norte Chico/Caral influence on the development of this culture. The main characteristic of Kotosh architecture is the large man-made mounts (some which had subterraneous and semi subterraneous ritual chambers), on which were built structures with mud or stone. The main building complexes were ceremonial centers, which had houses and some defensive structures around. Pottery was adopted (though gourds were still relevant containers for much longer) and usually depicted supernatural and symbolic religious figures. The diet consisted in the mixed subsistence that included some marine animals (something remarkable considering the distance from the sea), hunting, foraging and small-scale agriculture, but from around 1000 BCE maize and pastoralism (llamas and alpacas) became common. Unlike Norte Chico/Caral, Kotosh does not appear to have been the center of a unified polity and there wasn’t much social stratification. The Kotosh also impressively lasted for a longer period, and while was declining by the time of Early Horizon, the site and its distinctive ceramic-style were still present until at least early Middle Horizon (600-1000 CE).

Kotosh.jpg

Kotosh


Now, after this long discussion about earlier Andean cultures, let’s discuss the in-game characteristics of the civ.

Spawn/Staring Tile:
Considering the above discussion, the civ certainly should be present by the start of the game in 3000 BCE. The starting tile would be Caral; while this town wasn’t the oldest from the civ, certainly it was the most important and capital. The point here is more or less like Babylonian civ: starts with the namesake city as starting tile, even though the town proper was founded a little later.

Color/Flag:
As stated, there is few visual arts in Norte Chico/Caral culture, but we can find some few evidences and examples. The color can be white, yellow or even red (giving how their pyramids were painted); considering the isolation of the civ, I don’t think that this will be an issue. The symbol can be the so-called Ojo de Dios, which was found as offering for the gods in Aspero, or one of the images in this wall found in Vichama.

Leaders:
Because the civ didn’t have a writing system and didn’t developed much in terms of visual arts, we essentially don’t know the name or even the slightest reference for any Norte Chico/Caral leader. In 2016 a woman, certainly of high social standing, was found in Aspero and was named Dama de los Cuatro Tupus (the name is a reference to what she was wearing; tupus are Andean traditional shawl pins). While there is some stretching here, and obviously we don’t have the art asset required, she’s one option. The other, similar to 1SDAN's version, is to use the Staff God as leader. During Inca times, he was named Viracocha (there is several spelling alternatives for his name that are less Hispanicized, such as Wiracocha). The favorite civic for any of these two leaders can be likely Redistribution or Deification.


UP:
There are two major characteristics from this civ that may be excellent interesting options as UP. The first, present in 1SDAN’s version, is the Power of the Aceramics, giving a large (albeit short-term usefulness) double :science: before discovering Pottery. The second option is the Power of Shicra, which would allow improve the nearby Cotton resource immediately (without the tech requirement) and give double production for all buildings with this resource by Ancient and possibly Classical Age.


UU:
Again, we have to stretch things a little to find a good UU for the civ, giving both the lack of information and relative isolation. My suggestion here is the same used by 1SDAN’s version: a unique worker called Ayllu. I’m unsure about the specific bonus for it (we can consider the UHVs to define it), but giving the sociological and historical role of the ayllu in Andean traditional society, I’d suggest something like creating :culture:, :hammers: or :food: after building improvements to the nearest city. I didn’t look much for art assets, but I’m pretty sure that there are some variants of indigenous/Inca/Mesoamerican workers that may be useful.


UB:
Focusing on the monumental architecture of Norte Chico/Caral, the main buildings were their step pyramids, though I’m uncertain if they should be the UB, since those would more likely replace/have the same role of pagan temples. Another issue is that there isn’t many buildings to replace realistically on Ancient and Early Classical ages (the realistic gameplay time). So here are some options, though I’m not sure which one would be better.
  • Sunken Plaza (replacing as an earlier and possibly cheaper Arena or Civic Square available with Ceremony or Divination): free slot for a priest specialist and/or some culture bonus. If replaces the latter building, the regular effects should be adjusted accordingly. I’m unsure about art assets, but considering how simple it is, we should be able to work out a reasonable option. While most of Norte Chico/Caral pyramids had a sunken plaza in front of it, the largest and most impressive exemple found is the so-called Temple of Amphitheater in Caral.
  • Huanca (replacing Monument or as much earlier and cheaper Observatory available with Calendar): again, a culture and/or science bonus seem appropriate (though in the case of Observatory replacement it would have to be adjusted, probably by removing the scientist specialist slot or replacing it for a priest slot). Alternatively, it can be named as Wanka (in Quechua). The required art asset is also quite simple, since the Huanca/Wanka was essentially a monolith surrounded by smaller stones in circular pattern, as seen in Caral.

UHVs:
Again, I think that 1SDAN’s version represents quite good the major achievements of Norte Chico/Caral and offers an interesting and challenging puzzle gameplay and UHVs for essentially an OCC civ: represents how this civilization influenced many of the later Andean cultures, their achievements and technological progress, and how they were a densely and urbanized society. For the sake of more options, I’m listing a couple more suggestions:
  • The Maritime Coast and Agricultural Inland: control certain number of different resources by 1500 BCE.
  • The Diaspora and the Formative Period: have more cities than any civilization in the Americas (in case we add other civs like, let’s say, the Olmecs :)) or be the largest civilization in the world by 900 BCE and ensure that each city has access to at least one food and luxury resource, and developing culture level.

Expansion and Resources:
As said above, the Norte Chico/Caral civilization occupied a relatively small area in central-north Peru. Even in the new map the maximum historical extent of this civ would be one or two (at best) tiles that would be Core areas. If you look in the map bellow (originally from the thread New Map Overview), Caral roughly would be 1S of the Potato resource and Aspero (the second largest city) could be placed forcibly on the Potato tile. Some of the other sites mentioned here can also became some possible city names for the civ: 1SW from Caral can be El Paraíso (the same tile of later modern Lima) and the tile 1N from Aspero can be Sechín. And roughly that’s it for the expansion and CNM concerning Norte Chico/Caral, since Kotosh would be more or less one or two tiles west of Caral (in the mountain or jungle tiles, basically inaccessible by that time). Also, just to note, the map is somewhat distorted in this region: since the Amazon is compressed and the southern Peruvian highlands are enlarged for the Inca, inevitably the northern Peruvian coast is proportionally smaller than its real life counterpart.
Spoiler :

Caral Cities.jpg


Another issue is that these city names were given much later and we simply don’t know how they originally called their towns. Caral, at least, seems to come from some form of proto-Quechua (it is hypothesized by some linguists that Quechua language originated somewhere near this region around early 1st millennium CE) and means “reed” or “fiber”. Kotosh comes from the Quechua name for the area that means “a heap of stones”. The other towns are more problematic, since they all are in Spanish: Aspero comes from Él Áspero (something like “the rough”), El Paraíso means “the paradise”, though originally the site was called Chuquitanta (the name from a farm in which was located), and Sechín is named after a small river nearby that is located near the modern town of Casma, whose etymology possibly comes from Quingam language (the language of the later Chimú). Giving all the issues with naming with these ancient Andean civilizations, probably we should translate those in Quechua, though I have yet to find a good and reliable Quechua dictionary online.

Ideally, by 1800 BCE the civ should start to struggle with stability, receiving hits and possibly facing some few barbarian/native units to ensure its guaranteed collapse (if AI) until 900 BCE. Just like in the Harrapan case, probably the cities of this civilization should be auto razed on collapse, since they were not inhabited for much after their collapse and these same tiles will become core areas for later civs.


Pagan Religion:
Considering how little we know about Norte Chico/Caral religion, and the fact that it was related to later Andean religions, I find that it is appropriate to give the Inca pagan religion (namely after the major deity, Inti) for most, if not all, Andean civilizations that will be suggested in this thread. Nonetheless, is important to note that, at least in Inca mythology, the Inti (Sun-God) is commonly considered the son of Viracocha (the Staff God).
 
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need my speed

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That should be utterly irrelevant. Just because we all speak English doesn't mean we can now laugh at other languages having words with other meanings. Part of this mod, in my opinion, is breaking away from a predominantly Anglo/Western/Whatever-frame and explore other areas of the worlds as well, in their own cultural contexts and whatnot.
 

Steb

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I think the maritime foundation theory, while perhaps not true, is a pretty cool and unique thing to represent, so I'd like one of the features of the Caral civ to involve that. I believe I had made a suggestion to that effect in 1SDAN's mod... Ah yes, here it is:
Reading up about them, I learned that they may be unique as a civilization in having developed out of sea-based staple foods. This is known as the "maritime foundation of Andean civilization" theory and it is still debated, but it would be cool to represent it. Thus the replacement goal could be to acquire X seafood resources (depending on what's actually available around the city) by some early date. Cotton can be thrown into the goal too (it was used for fishing nets), implicitly requiring calendar. The maritime foundation hypothesis might also provide a more inspired UU: an upgraded workboat that can create whaling boats from the get-go, and/or create multiple improvements, and/or is built faster (with cotton?).
I think a workboat UU that has access to more advanced capability from the beginning would be interesting.
 

Krieger-FS

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A workboat UU could be interesting! And I don't recall having one in the mod (since the Polynesian one is technically a galley), so can be a cool unique UU.

While afaik no Norte Chico/Caral boat or remains had been ever found (though they certainly built some kind of it given their reliance on seafood) Peru has a historical tradition in building reed boats that goes for thousands of years, so we can argue that they would still be fairly historically accurate. The more famous ones are those of Uros people in Titicaca lake (they also build floating islands), but they are also common in Peruvian littoral. The wiki article shows some of these, as well this Smithsonian article about Caral here.
 
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Continuing my series of suggestions for new Andean civilizations, I’d like to start with the Norte Chico/Caral civilization, which is the oldest identified complex urban-based society in the region. Some of you may already know something about them because it was included in 1SDAN’s DocReborn, so for the sake of reference, here is how it is represented in the modmod:



The first definition that we need to make here is to identify who is included in this proposed civ. This may be seeming like a strange question, but I’d like to point that the study of ancient Andean cultures and societies present several challenges that I discuss below. So, while it is somewhat obvious that we are including the Norte Chico/Caral civilization, potentially we can also use this civ as an "umbrella" to represent other possible related cultures in the Pre-Ceramic (4000-1800 BCE) and Formative period (1800-900 BCE), in particular Kotosh and Sechín-Casma.

That being said, let’s dive in history and archeological studies of these cultures, which hopefully would give a clear picture to design them.

Spoiler :

As you all may know, the Andes were one of the few (and interestingly also one of oldest) cradle of civilization in the world, roughly contemporaneous to Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Nonetheless, here civilization emerged in unique conditions, since the Peruvian littoral appears as an improbable candidate for the emergence of civilization when compared to other places, since it lacks any major rivers (most of them are small and intermittent as result of Andean snowmelt), is extremely arid and bounded with irregular rain. Yet, radiocarbon date shows monumental man-made structures here as old as 3700 BCE.

In cultural terms, there are also some unique aspects for this early civilization, some that were still shared with all the later cultures until the Spanish conquest. First and most striking, the Norte Chico/Caral completely lacked ceramics, even though the contemporaneous Valdivia culture in Ecuador already possessed it. Second, like all following Andean cultures, the civilization did not develop a formal system of writing, so all we know about them is the result of archeological research. So we even don't know how they called themselves, their language, cities or leaders; given how old this civilization was, they very likely were completly forgotten by the time of the Incas and Spanish conquest. And as additional note here, the archeological studies of these old civilizations are really recent. While some of these sites were identified as early as 1905, they were only noted as pre-ceramic by the 1980s and intensive field-research began in the 1990s; that means that we still don’t know much about them and there are some contradictions and controversy in the work of the main researchers.

The Norte Chico/Caral civ emerged around 4000-3500 BCE in the Supe river valley and surrounding areas, roughly 180 km north of Lima. There are about 20 cities in the region, which shows a surprisingly urbanized society that was inhabited with at least 20-30k people. Agriculture played a major role as expected and canal building was essential to the establishment of these earlier cities, but there are some unique aspects about it. The main agricultural product was cotton and the other major crop was some kinds of gourds (they were used as recipients that largely replaced the need of pottery for the civilization), while sweet potatoes, beans, and other cereals were of lesser importance. As such, we have a pattern of mixed subsistence that combined some form of food crops, foraging and fishing, which used the cotton produced for fishing nets. In fact, seafood seems to have been the main source of proteins for these populations and some researchers developed a theory (now criticized) that this civilization had maritime foundation.

View attachment 590422

Cotton and textile production played a central role in Norte Chico/Caral’s economy and society. It is hypothesized that it was produced in more inland areas and sold to the coastal cities, which consumed it to produce fishing equipment and bags and in its turn supply the inland areas with seafood. Thus, we have a relatively complex economic relationship between those cities and the control over the cotton production possibly meant a certain degree of political control; archeological findings of large stone warehouses built to storage cotton and textiles are indicatives of this economic-political system.

The heart of the civilization was the city of Caral, which is the largest and most impressive site of the civilization. While it wasn’t the oldest city in the region (Huaricanga is regarded as the first), it was the center of the region during the peak of the civilization between 2600-2000 BCE. The city was the hub of the cotton and textile network and engaged in long-distance trade of luxuries, importing shells (particularly the Spondylus, which had a religious meaning for them and several later Andean cultures) from coastal areas of Ecuador, dyes and feathers from the mountains and highlands, and even tropical products from jungle areas (possibly as far as the Amazon!).

We are uncertain about how Caral ruled over its subjects, but the government seems to be somewhat theocratic bounded in the traditional aspects of Andean social organization, with chief or ruler (that probably had similar role as the later Inca kuraka) and representatives of major families/clans (ayllu) that are the most primitive form of socio-political organization in the region. Another interesting fact is that there is no evidence of warfare during Norte Chico/Caral times, no archeological remains of mutilated bodies, weapons, burned buildings or defensive structures; this fact is a remarkable contrast with the general archeology theory that links the early state-formation process with widespread violence. We also know little about their religion, but gourd pieces were found depicting the so-called Staff God from around 2250 BCE. Giving that the Staff God reappears in later cultures, it is considered that Norte Chico/Caral’s religion was a template from later Andean religious patterns.

Caral itself was also a religious center, giving the emphasis and city organization centered in its major temples. Like other towns from that culture, it was built in a “U-shape” form and the main building (in the base of the “U”) was the largest structure, a step pyramid with a sunken circular plaza in front with some stairs to the top of the pyramid, where were located some dwellings and places for religious practices. These structures were built with shicra bags, a technique of using reed bags to keep the stones together and also provide an anti-seismic function useful for a region that suffers from regular earthquakes. The pyramids were commonly painted in white, yellow, and more rarely, red and their construction required a large and organized workforce; it seems that these workers were partially paid with dried fish (anchovies) in a work regime that may have been some primitive form of the traditional reciprocity exchange common to the later Andean cultures.

View attachment 590423
Caral

View attachment 590426
Aspero

In terms of arts, the Norte Chico/Caral apparently didn’t had many visual arts (though some small clay figures, possibly related to a fertility ritual, were found and very recently a wall with several reliefs was found), but they developed instrumental music (some flutes made of pelican bones were discovered) and were prolific and ingenious with textiles, creating colorful clothes, wraps, adornments and necklaces. Besides that, textiles were also used to make quipus, a string-based recording device that may have been a form of proto-writing that was widely used in the Andean region until the Spanish conquest. They were also had seemingly some basic to more complex knowledge in mathematics and astronomy. Regarding the latter, they had an established calendar for all religious ceremonies, many structures were built following astronomical orientations and they established some observatories for religious purposes, whose main feature was a large monolith surrounded by a circular pattern of smaller stones.

Around 1800 BCE, the Norte Chico/Caral civilization declined, the most important cities were abandoned, and we are uncertain about the exact reasons, though catastrophic events derived from El Niño phenomenon are the most acceptable suggestion, whose torrential storms would flood the fields for years and would turn some fertile areas into sandy lands. Other suggestions point to huge earthquakes (some of the pyramids show signs of reconstructions post-seismic impacts) and there is also some few signs in Aspero (one of the largest coastal cities) that some buildings were occupied and destroyed by foreign populations, though is not very clear when that happened or who were these newcomers, and in general an invasion seems unlikely giving the lack of evidence. Thus, the collapse of the agriculture probably made the population leave the region, migrating (and bringing their knowledge in canal and city-building) to other areas in the coast and in the highlands around a time that new urban centers appeared in these other regions.

The Norte Chico/Caral civilization probably was some form of a united polity centered in Caral, but there was other towns, cultures and chiefdoms that developed independently in other areas of Peru that were roughly contemporaneous. More to the south, near modern-day Lima, there was a flourishing city that was almost certain the center of an independent chiefdom in the archeological site now known as El Paraíso. While some characteristics are the same from Norte Chico/Caral (the centrality of cotton, the shicra construction techniques and a mixed subsistence economy), there is many differences, particularly in how they planned and organized their city indicating that they weren’t the same people. The evidence point that the site was inhabited around 2400-1400 BCE, but its peak (when possibly had more or less the same population of Caral) lasted much less and the city was quickly depopulated, though apparently not from any identified catastrophic event.

View attachment 590427
El Paraíso

To the north, the Sechín-Casma culture evolved around the Sechín river and it is, in many aspects, as impressive as the Norte Chico/Caral. For starts, the Sechín culture is responsible for the oldest known building and monumental architecture in the Americas, as in the site know as Sechín Bajo were found remains of an administrative/religious structure dating from 3600 BCE, which points that this civilization emerged at the same time of Norte Chico/Caral. The towns from that time were mostly coastal, relying in a mixed subsistence economy and, in particular, to fishing to survive. Just like in their neighbors in the south, cotton also had a central role, though agriculture here existed in a minor scale. Also, we have here evidence of warfare as some weapon remains were found. Coincidently, after the Norte Chico/Caral collapse, the Sechín agriculture expanded greatly with canal-building (similar to the ones from the former), almost all the earlier towns were rebuilt and expanded with new pyramids, plazas, and and pottery was developed. In fact, it was during the Formative period (1800-900 BCE) that Sechín achieved its peak, the region was unified under one polity and the site of Sechín Alto was the capital. Near the end of this period, the Sechín went through large cultural changes, indicating that they felt under influence or possibly political control from the Chavín culture from the highlands. The food, architecture and agriculture changed, which implies a foreign invasion: maize and domestic animals from the mountains (llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs) replaced the dependence on fishing; military themes became more common and prominent in the architecture, as depicted in Chankillo, the most important archeological site from this period. Impressively, the Sechín-Casma culture lasted until nearly the end of Early Horizon (900 BCE-200 CE), when the last sites and towns were abandoned around 200-100 BCE, partially destroyed in a unkown conflict.

View attachment 590428
Sechín Bajo

View attachment 590429
Relief of warrior in Sechín Alto

Finally, another near contemporaneous culture that shared some cultural aspects with the Norte Chico/Caral was Kotosh, named after its main archeological site. We are somewhat uncertain about its nature, being a culture or just some form of religious tradition. Nonetheless, the Kotosh emerged around 1800 BCE, but unlike the former cultures, this one appeared in the highlands. Considering the timing and architectural features of Kotosh, there is some few evidences that point a Norte Chico/Caral influence on the development of this culture. The main characteristic of Kotosh architecture is the large man-made mounts (some which had subterraneous and semi subterraneous ritual chambers), on which were built structures with mud or stone. The main building complexes were ceremonial centers, which had houses and some defensive structures around. Pottery was adopted (though gourds were still relevant containers for much longer) and usually depicted supernatural and symbolic religious figures. The diet consisted in the mixed subsistence that included some marine animals (something remarkable considering the distance from the sea), hunting, foraging and small-scale agriculture, but from around 1000 BCE maize and pastoralism (llamas and alpacas) became common. Unlike Norte Chico/Caral, Kotosh does not appear to have been the center of a unified polity and there wasn’t much social stratification. The Kotosh also impressively lasted for a longer period, and while was declining by the time of Early Horizon, the site and its distinctive ceramic-style were still present until at least early Middle Horizon (600-1000 CE).

View attachment 590430
Kotosh


Now, after this long discussion about earlier Andean cultures, let’s discuss the in-game characteristics of the civ.

Spawn/Staring Tile:
Considering the above discussion, the civ certainly should be present by the start of the game in 3000 BCE. The starting tile would be Caral; while this town wasn’t the oldest from the civ, certainly it was the most important and capital. The point here is more or less like Babylonian civ: starts with the namesake city as starting tile, even though the town proper was founded a little later.

Color/Flag:
As stated, there is few visual arts in Norte Chico/Caral culture, but we can find some few evidences and examples. The color can be white, yellow or even red (giving how their pyramids were painted); considering the isolation of the civ, I don’t think that this will be an issue. The symbol can be the so-called Ojo de Dios, which was found as offering for the gods in Aspero, or one of the images in this wall found in Vichama.

Leaders:
Because the civ didn’t have a writing system and didn’t developed much in terms of visual arts, we essentially don’t know the name or even the slightest reference for any Norte Chico/Caral leader. In 2016 a woman, certainly of high social standing, was found in Aspero and was named Dama de los Cuatro Tupus (the name is a reference to what she was wearing; tupus are Andean traditional shawl pins). While there is some stretching here, and obviously we don’t have the art asset required, she’s one option. The other, similar to 1SDAN's version, is to use the Staff God as leader. During Inca times, he was named Viracocha (there is several spelling alternatives for his name that are less Hispanicized, such as Wiracocha). The favorite civic for any of these two leaders can be likely Redistribution or Deification.


UP:
There are two major characteristics from this civ that may be excellent interesting options as UP. The first, present in 1SDAN’s version, is the Power of the Aceramics, giving a large (albeit short-term usefulness) double :science: before discovering Pottery. The second option is the Power of Shicra, which would allow improve the nearby Cotton resource immediately (without the tech requirement) and give double production for all buildings with this resource by Ancient and possibly Classical Age.


UU:
Again, we have to stretch things a little to find a good UU for the civ, giving both the lack of information and relative isolation. My suggestion here is the same used by 1SDAN’s version: a unique worker called Ayllu. I’m unsure about the specific bonus for it (we can consider the UHVs to define it), but giving the sociological and historical role of the ayllu in Andean traditional society, I’d suggest something like creating :culture:, :hammers: or :food: after building improvements to the nearest city. I didn’t look much for art assets, but I’m pretty sure that there are some variants of indigenous/Inca/Mesoamerican workers that may be useful.


UB:
Focusing on the monumental architecture of Norte Chico/Caral, the main buildings were their step pyramids, though I’m uncertain if they should be the UB, since those would more likely replace/have the same role of pagan temples. Another issue is that there isn’t many buildings to replace realistically on Ancient and Early Classical ages (the realistic gameplay time). So here are some options, though I’m not sure which one would be better.
  • Sunken Plaza (replacing as an earlier and possibly cheaper Arena or Civic Square available with Ceremony or Divination): free slot for a priest specialist and/or some culture bonus. If replaces the latter building, the regular effects should be adjusted accordingly. I’m unsure about art assets, but considering how simple it is, we should be able to work out a reasonable option. While most of Norte Chico/Caral pyramids had a sunken plaza in front of it, the largest and most impressive exemple found is the so-called Temple of Amphitheater in Caral.
  • Huanca (replacing Monument or as much earlier and cheaper Observatory available with Calendar): again, a culture and/or science bonus seem appropriate (though in the case of Observatory replacement it would have to be adjusted, probably by removing the scientist specialist slot or replacing it for a priest slot). Alternatively, it can be named as Wanka (in Quechua). The required art asset is also quite simple, since the Huanca/Wanka was essentially a monolith surrounded by smaller stones in circular pattern, as seen in Caral.

UHVs:
Again, I think that 1SDAN’s version represents quite good the major achievements of Norte Chico/Caral and offers an interesting and challenging puzzle gameplay and UHVs for essentially an OCC civ: represents how this civilization influenced many of the later Andean cultures, their achievements and technological progress, and how they were a densely and urbanized society. For the sake of more options, I’m listing a couple more suggestions:
  • The Maritime Coast and Agricultural Inland: control certain number of different resources by 1500 BCE.
  • The Diaspora and the Formative Period: have more cities than any civilization in the Americas (in case we add other civs like, let’s say, the Olmecs :)) or be the largest civilization in the world by 900 BCE and ensure that each city has access to at least one food and luxury resource, and developing culture level.

Expansion and Resources:
As said above, the Norte Chico/Caral civilization occupied a relatively small area in central-north Peru. Even in the new map the maximum historical extent of this civ would be one or two (at best) tiles that would be Core areas. If you look in the map bellow (originally from the thread New Map Overview), Caral roughly would be 1S of the Potato resource and Aspero (the second largest city) could be placed forcibly on the Potato tile. Some of the other sites mentioned here can also became some possible city names for the civ: 1SW from Caral can be El Paraíso (the same tile of later modern Lima) and the tile 1N from Aspero can be Sechín. And roughly that’s it for the expansion and CNM concerning Norte Chico/Caral, since Kotosh would be more or less one or two tiles west of Caral (in the mountain or jungle tiles, basically inaccessible by that time). Also, just to note, the map is somewhat distorted in this region: since the Amazon is compressed and the southern Peruvian highlands are enlarged for the Inca, inevitably the northern Peruvian coast is proportionally smaller than its real life counterpart.

Another issue is that these city names were given much later and we simply don’t know how they originally called their towns. Caral, at least, seems to come from some form of proto-Quechua (it is hypothesized by some linguists that Quechua language originated somewhere near this region around early 1st millennium CE) and means “reed” or “fiber”. Kotosh comes from the Quechua name for the area that means “a heap of stones”. The other towns are more problematic, since they all are in Spanish: Aspero comes from Él Áspero (something like “the rough”), El Paraíso means “the paradise”, though originally the site was called Chuquitanta (the name from a farm in which was located), and Sechín is named after a small river nearby that is located near the modern town of Casma, whose etymology possibly comes from Quingam language (the language of the later Chimú). Giving all the issues with naming with these ancient Andean civilizations, probably we should translate those in Quechua, though I have yet to find a good and reliable Quechua dictionary online.

Ideally, by 1800 BCE the civ should start to struggle with stability, receiving hits and possibly facing some few barbarian/native units to ensure its guaranteed collapse (if AI) until 900 BCE. Just like in the Harrapan case, probably the cities of this civilization should be auto razed on collapse, since they were not inhabited for much after their collapse and these same tiles will become core areas for later civs.


Pagan Religion:
Considering how little we know about Norte Chico/Caral religion, and the fact that it was related to later Andean religions, I find that it is appropriate to give the Inca pagan religion (namely after the major deity, Inti) for most, if not all, Andean civilizations that will be suggested in this thread. Nonetheless, is important to note that, at least in Inca mythology, the Inti (Sun-God) is commonly considered the son of Viracocha (the Staff God).
1SDAN's Norte Chico UHVs were doable and slightly challenging due to the luck factor if I remember correctly. (Though it did have bugs, so it wouldn't be copy and paste).
 

hnrysml

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Could the maritime/inland co-dependence of Norte Chico be represented by a UP or UB that provides a food boost to improved cotton and a hammer boost to fish (or other seafood)?
 

brett0007

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Ill throw my suggestion in, a slightly revised pre Columbian Amazonian basin civ

Spoiler :
As mentioned in my earlier thread there is a lot of emerging evidence showing that the pre Columbian Amazon was densely populated by a number of cultures all united by a hitherto unknown form of rainforest agriculture and a Spanish account of this civilization. The main bodies of evidence are huge man made geoglyphs found in the deforested parts of the Amazon. The Terra Preta a rich soil primarily composed of charred plant material which is highly unusual for rainforest, which tipically have very nutrient poor soils. In addition Terra Preta contains among other things shards of pottery and household waste. Lastly is the account of friar Gaspar de Carvajal, who documented in detail a Spanish voyage down the Amazon river where they encountered the terminal stage of the civilization, as it collapsed soon after due to pandemic disease ironically enough introduced by the Spanish who later saw to colonize the region, only to find a depopulated wasteland.


Now you might ask why? There are plenty of native American Civs in south America alone that are more relevant, and you are correct. But I do have a few lines of reasoning 1.The area is as of now fictionally useless, its just a mass of marsh and jungle used to make the land useless. 2 Its entirely unoccupied during its historical existence. 3. It is hitherto unrepresented and utterly unique as far as Civs go.

As far as spawning the oldest Terra Preta dates from around 450bc and crops up at multiple sites across the basin. Id suggest using the Cambeba as the base, as they are the most documented of the Amazonian basin peoples. As for city names the best we have are probably the Tupi-Guaani languages.

Gaspar's account gives us the names of a few kings and queens, of note are Aparia the greater, a king of the Cambeba and Queen Conori, of the "Amazons" who's female bowman inspired the name of the basin.

As far as a UU goes a more obvious choice is the Amazonian bowmen, and starts with woodsman. Gaspar's accout also notes their adeptness at amphibious warfare, with the Amazonians being able to put up stiff resistance from canoes to the two Spanish Brigandines so a UU representing this is a possibility.

UP this is where I think This civ can stand out, I have a few ideas, allows units to move through jungle and build improvements on jungle tiles, Jungle tiles yeild the benefits of the tile as if the jungle wasn't there +1 food, jungle tiles can be
improved by a new improvement "Terra Preta farmland" that ups food and production and allows movement of units though the tile.

UB: Terra preta contains large amounts of discarded broken pottery and Gaspar noes that there was a large pottery industry all along the Amazon. So a Pottery that replaces forges seems reasonable, +1health or production, and food?

Flag: absolutely nothing to go on here.

UHV's are entirely unchanged from my earlier suggestion
Spoiler :

UHV1:Control the Amazon basin by 300 AD
UHV2:Have 5 million population by 1500 (estimated population of the amazon pre contact, not sure how that converts to pop numbers)
UHV3:have an Amazonian bowman kill a European explorer by 1700
 

Krieger-FS

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Continuing the discussion about Andean civilizations, I’d like to share some ideas, doubts and troubles that I’m having with the Chavín culture. As you all may see in the first post of the thread, the Chavín was the most important and defining culture from the Early Horizon and it is the only large Horizon-culture that I’ve said that isn't a strong candidate for inclusion. So, my findings are presented here in a more open way and I’d love to hear some feedback, because I feel both strong arguments for and against their inclusion in some way.

So, to start the discussion, let’s discuss some historical background about this culture.

Spoiler :

The Chavín culture is one of the oldest civilizations known in the Andes and has its name from its main site, Chavín de Huantar. The ruins there were known by the Incas, who gave present name: chavín is the Hispanized form of Quechua chawpin (meaning “in the middle” or “in the center”) and likewise huantar comes from waantar (seems to be the name of a local plant). By the time of Spanish conquest, the newcomers noted the site and wrote that the locals said that it was a sacred place built by giants long before the Incas. In fact, by mid 17th century Spanish religious authorities launched idolatry investigations regarding the place, and until very recently the local population performed some rituals within the ruins. By early 20th century, the site attracted the attention of many archeologists, who considered the Chavín as the progenitor of Andean civilization until the more recent discoveries in north-central Peruvian coast.

Chavín culture is regarded as one of the main civilizations in Andean history and was the unifying cultural force for the Early Horizon (900 – 200 BCE), though there are evidences that Chavín de Huantar was inhabited as early as 1500 BCE. Nonetheless, by 900 BCE Chavín culture flourished until its peak around 500 BCE, when much of modern north and central Peru was under its influence. By 200 BCE the city was mostly depopulated and remained as small village for a couple of centuries before falling in ruins.

Early cities.jpg

Archeological sites from Pre-Ceramic, Formative and Early Horizon. Taken from Silverman and Isbell (Eds.)The Handbook of South American Archaeology.

Differently from other civs discussed here, Chavín culture wasn’t defined as a specific polity or people, but it was more or less a religious and artistic movement centered in Chavín de Huantar that became widely influential. This city proper was in the highlands and some archeologists and historians point to links with the older Cupisnique and Kotosh cultures in the early development phases, however in many aspects the Chavín seems to have deliberately tried to incorporate elements from the three main zones of pre-Colombian Peru (the mountains, coastal valleys, and the jungle), mixing them together to create a pan-Andean religious movement that set a regional pattern. Thus, Chavín de Huantar was essentially a large religious center that attracted pilgrims from far away areas; while doing so, it also became an important trade center given the influx of people and offerings. Thus, in the site we found littoral products (including Spondylus and Strombus shells from coastal areas in Ecuador), mountain ones like gold (including an alloy called tumbaga), gems, and obsidian (from Huancavelica, almost 500 km south), and tropical dyes and hallucinogens.

Interestingly, during Early Horizon the main cities were in coastal areas, while much of the highlands and surroundings were essentially rural that depended on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism. Thus, archeologists argue that during that time there wasn’t really a strong or centralized political authority and Chavín de Huantar was mainly a spiritual center for several distinct chiefdoms and other less complex societies, each disputing its blessings with offerings. It’s interesting to note that Chavín seems to have expanded its influence by largely peaceful ways, since the city proper didn’t had any defensive structures or military quarters. Warfare evidence only appeared in the peripheries of Chavín’s area of influence, particularly near Sechín-Casma culture, which seems to have used military means to resist against incursions of some Chavín-influenced peoples.

While archeologists and historians agree that Chavín was essentially a religious movement, we actually don’t know much about the specific characteristics of their cult. There are many carvings in stone, statuettes, vestments, and objects that display gods (including the Staff God), mythological and animal figures, and religious symbols, but their meanings are largely unknown. The priests probably practiced some forms of shamanism, in which they would use hallucinogens and “transform” in mythological creatures or animals as part of the cult. The main temples in Chavín de Huantar were built to impress the visitors, using a complex system of galleries, ventilation shafts, drainage canals and clever techniques with small anthracite mirrors to create unique experiences with lightning and terrifying sounds. The complex also certainly was the most important oracle of Andean region back then, whose role probably were likely similar to the more famous one in Delphi for the Greeks.

Chavin.jpg

The "New Temple" in Chavín de Huantar. From Wikipedia.

The Chavín society was highly stratified, possibly much more than any previous Andean society. Chavín de Huantar itself was certainly a theocracy and priests were in the top of their society, giving how richly decorated were their burials in comparison with the common people. Besides these more religious aspects, the Chavín culture also was remarkable for other innovations and their contributions to later Andean cultures. They possibly developed the first common and international language for the larger Andean region (just like Latin was during the Middle Ages for the Western world), though since they didn’t leave written records, we are unsure about it (some linguists argue for a form of proto-Quechua, but most of them agree that this language only developed later). They also excelled in goldsmith and metalworking, developing new techniques that allow them to create quite detailed ornaments with gold, obsidian, and gems (before them, metalwork was fairly limited and rudimentary, centered mostly in copper). As peoples from the highlands, they were also important in spreading some cultural features from the mountains to the larger Andean cultural region, including camelid (llama and alpaca) pastoralism and the meat consumption related (including a llama jerky that the later Inca called ch’arki), and also the widespread of potato and maize consumption.

As said before, the peak of the Chavín was around 500 BCE and afterwards they started to decline. Again, we don’t know much about the precise reasons for their decline, giving that it seems that Chavín de Huantar was progressively abandoned (there are some few signs of social instability and upheaval) until it was a small village by the end of Early Horizon. Around that time, new polities emerged (to the north and south) that were outside Chavín influence, and we pass to the Early Intermediate period in Andean history.


Giving those historical considerations, the question now is about how can we represent Chavín in the mod. It’s also precisely where my doubts start: should we create a playable civ? Or spawn an Indy Chavín? Include them in our “umbrella” Norte Chico/Caral civ or simply ignore it and don’t represent it at all?

Let’s start with the pro-Chavin arguments. First, looking to the proposed civs and the historical continuity in the Andean region, Chavín would roughly fill the time between the earlier Caral/Norte Chico civ (3.000 to ~1.500 BCE) and the later emergence of the Moche and Tiwanaku (both around 1st century CE). I don’t recall precisely how many turns are between those dates, but we can see a significant gameplay time (basically the entire Classical Age) without anything happening in the region. Second, Chavín culture was extremely influential in the Andean region and we can identify them as the source of many cultural and material aspects of later civs, which also allow us to design relatively interesting UHVs (like, let’s say, put them to challenge Mediterranean and Near Eastern civs in the other side of the world to build the Oracle) and would give a stronger sense of cultural continuity between the Andean civs.

Nonetheless, there are some strong arguments against Chavín. To take the more prominent ones, 1) while highly influent, Chavín wasn’t an obvious and clear polity and we have few information about their social organization, which in turn presents challenges to make interesting UUs, leaders and possibly UBs; 2) most of the peoples under Chavín influence were essentially rural and semi-nomad, and there is quite few urban sites: besides Chavín de Huantar, there is no other large “city” within its cultural sphere, so they would mostly be another OCC in the region; 3) giving our map, the Chavín core area would be small and basically overlap with previous Norte Chico/Caral civ and later ones (in particular, Moche/Chimú).

So, to toss some ideas for further consideration and discussion, my first suggestion was to represent Chavín as an Indy/Native city that spawns after the Norte Chico/Caral collapse, giving the lack of information to make them a well-designed playable civ. Nonetheless, there some issues arising from this depiction:
  • the most precise location of the city would be among the mountain tiles, and that is impossible within our game; considering the map distortions, it would be roughly on the flat/coastal potato tile, which it is obviously weird considering that it was a city far upper in the mountains, or alternatively isolated in the east side of Andes.
  • there is no way, at least in the present larger map, to include the city without having conflicts with other later and important cities, particularly the Moche/Chimú capital. To fix that, we would need to go back and rethink the area. I was the responsible for the suggestions for many of the current features of South America in the larger map and designed this region with two main objectives 1) to ensure that there was no Andean passes before the era of European contact and 2) thinking about how it should fit Inca and later colonial/Peruvian cities. While I agree that the Andes look too “boxy” and “straight” in this area, changing it would mean creating new mountain passes way before than it should; besides, swapping few mountain tiles may not be enough.
  • finally, I’d like to point that Chavín de Huantar was only really relevant during the Early Horizon, being abandoned in later periods. So making several map changes to represent a city that should disappear may not be the wisest use of our limited time, though there are some other highland cities nearby that were important later (like Cajamarca, which has in its area an ancient archeological site from before Chavín times and was one of the main cities by later Inca and colonial times) and could help some of the new suggested civs (particularly the Moche/Chimú).
Spoiler North Peru in the larger map :

Map.png

Cyan circle: Chavín estimated location in real world
Blue circles: alternative locations
Black X: Moche/Chimú starting tile and Sechín city tile
Dark Red X: Caral tile
White X: modern Lima (for reference)



I’m personally not fond in including Chavín in the Norte Chico/Caral civ because there are too many differences between those peoples, but I’d like to emphasize that the first was from the highlands and the latter from coastal valleys, and both reflect these conditions on their social-political organization, even though there are few links between them (remember, Chavín was a pan-Andean cult that also included some cultural features from the coastal societies). I also recall that doing this still does not solve the problem of coexisting these cities.

Finally, we can simply ignore them, leaving the area empty. It is the simpler option considering all the issues, but certainly the most uninspiring one and would leave the Andes without one of its main cultures.

Anyway, those were my ramblings about Chavín. How about you guys, any thoughts or suggestions?
 
Last edited:

Krieger-FS

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For the next round of suggestions for Andean civilizations, I’d like to share some ideas about the Moche/Chimú civilization. Just like other civs already discussed here, the Chimú, in particular, has been depicted by other mods (see here and here for Civ 5) and ported to RFC mechanics by 1SDAN, which you can see the outline below.

Precolombian Update Part 3
New Civ: Chimu
Leader: Tacaynamo
Birth: 900 AD at Chan Chan - Cotton Tile
UP: The Power of the Mochica Heritage - Recieves a Free specialist in the capital for every other improved resource in Northwestern South American.
UU: Suchuc Chiqui Aucac - Replaces Skirmisher. +25% vs Archer, Melee
UB: Kancha - Replaces Castle. Available at Engineering. +25% GPP.
UHV1: The Mighty Paramonga - Build two Kanchas by 1300 CE
UHV2: Minchancaman Revenge - Conquer or vassalize the Inca by 1475 CE
UHV3: The Lambayeque-Sipan Conection - Settle three great artists in your capital by 1500 CE

As we did before, the first thing is to define who is included in this civ proposal and why. While the name gives away that the main polities and cultures included are the Moche and Chimú, I’d like to think that this civilization is more or less an “umbrella” one that could roughly define as “north-coastal Peruvian civilization”, encompassing several few other quite influential cultures like the Sicán/Lambayeque culture, and thus presenting a civ should basically last from the Early Intermediate Horizon (200 BCE – 600 CE) to the final Inca conquest (~ 1470 CE). The reasons for this interpretation are more explained in the historical discussion below, but in general we can see these cultures succeeding each other, roughly ruling the same peoples, and having similar cultural background.

So, with no further, let’s discuss the history of Pre-Columbian northern coastal areas.

Spoiler :

During the Early Horizon, the north Peruvian coastal valleys were under the influence of the Chavín culture. As we said in the last post, the Chavín were people from the highlands, but created a pan-Andean movement that also included cultural features from these coastal areas, in particular from the Cupisnique, the inhabitants from these valleys that were renowned for their ceramics and clay/adobe architecture found particularly in the Moche river valley. The Cupisnique continued to exist under Chavín influence until 500 BCE, when they declined from unknown reasons; shortly after, the Chavín also were collapsing and the region saw the emergence of new regional cultures. The main one, whose core area was also the Moche valley, was the Salinar. They expanded the irrigation systems in the area and built several small and fortified towns, which seems to indicate that they lived in troubled times. To the north, in the coastal deserts and valleys near the modern Ecuadorian border, another contemporaneous culture emerged, the Vicús, also notorious for their expanding irrigation systems and metalworking. Both cultures declined in the first centuries CE, when two new cultures emerged roughly in the same area: the Gallinazo/Virú culture and the Moche, the latter becoming the dominating power in the region.

Traditionally, the Moche were regarded as a single polity, whose capital was on the Moche valley (hence their name), that eventually conquered all the north Peruvian coast, but more recent studies presented a quite different picture First, there was actually several Moche political entities that emerged more or less at the same time, each organized around river basin so they were a kind “valley states”. Thus, just like the contemporaneous Maya, the Moche had a complex cultural unity, but were politically divided. While there are at least four or five identified “valley states”, usually the archeologists point to these distinct Moche societies as southern (encompassing the Moche and Chicana valleys) and the northern ones (Jequetepeque, Lambayeque and Piura valleys), giving their cultural differences.

Handbook Moche.jpg

Early Moche. Taken from Silverman and Isbell (Eds.)The Handbook of South American Archaeology.

Second, the archeological evidence point that the Moche coexisted with Salinar for couple centuries and, particularly, the Gallinazo culture for all their existence, sharing valleys and even their own cities; recent genetic studies also shows that there were not significant differences between the Gallinazo and Moche populations. Thus, more than a distinct society/people, the Moche probably were the region’s ruling elite, sharing a similar cultural pattern that was distinct from the common people; some archeologists also pose the hypothesis that what we understand as Moche was actually a part of the Salinar and Gallinazo peoples that developed a new ideology, ceremonies and rituals to emphasize their status and ensure their legitimacy as rulers; over time, the common people was slowly incorporating Moche’s cultural characteristics.

The Moche society was highly stratified, dividing itself into a noble elite, the commoners, and the poor. The first concentrated wealth and held political, religious and military power; below were the commoners, who were neither rich nor poor; they had certain assets and worked as artisans but could not participate in the activities of the elite. The poor were mostly the farmers, fishermen and brewers (the Moche produced a corn-based beer called chicha), and most of them couldn’t even live in Moche cities. The Moche ideology and religion certainly played a central role legitimizing this hugely unequal society, but by later times the social system proved to be unstable, when riots and unrest became more common.

One of the most important key elements of Moche power was their control over the region’s irrigation systems. In fact, they developed new techniques and significantly expanded the canals, ensuring that this was possibly the richest region in the Andean region by their time giving their superior agricultural output. Some researchers say that we can properly call the Moche as “hydraulic states”, giving how the control of the canals was important both for their prosperity and state-building.

This wealth also reflected on their artistic achievements, whose masterpieces were in many ways incomparable to any previous or later Andean civilizations. The Moche ceramic art is singular in the region, being one of the few pre-Columbian adorned with figurative and narrative images (the Maya being another famous one for the same reason), depicting mythological stories and events, religious ceremonies and other social activities, battles, sex scenes, and the portrait of important people like rulers, priests and warriors. They were also quite prolific using textiles and in metalworks, making excellent and impressive jewels and artifacts who also surpassed in quality any previous and even later works. In the architecture, the Moche built impressive and planned cities with adobe bricks, that included huge platforms (called by the Incas as wak’as or huacas) with temples, royal compounds and burials, all richly decorated with colorful carvings, friezes and murals. A good example of the Moche wealth can be seen by looking a historical fact that happened much later, in the 17th century, when looters called huaqueiros diverted the river Moche to crack open the massive Huaca del Sol and proceed to take almost 2 tons of gold, silver and other precious stones, according to the Spanish colonial authorities.

Huaca-de-la-Luna-Moche-Valley-courtesy-of-Proyecto-Arqueologico-Huacas-del-Sol-y-de-La.png

Reconstruction of the Huaca de la Luna, located on the opposite side of the Huaca del Sol in Moche, the capital of the Southern Moche. From
Proyecto Arqueológico Huacas del Sol y de La Luna, available online.


The northern Moche were wealthier than their southern neighbors, giving how richly were their burials and art. The reason was precisely the fact that the each river system there had more irrigation potential and agricultural output than all combined southern valleys. The Piura valley polity (capital in Loma Negra site) declined after some time for unknown reasons (archeologists suggest that Moche elite there failed in imposing their ideology and thus reverted to other cultural patterns) and the core of the northern Moche was in the Lambayeque (whose capital was Sipán) and Jequetepete (San José del Moro or Pacatnamu) valleys. There are few evidences that these northern Moche tried to expand militarily against each other; they were more concerned in expanding the agricultural potential inside each valley building new canals. Their elite most likely intermarried and fought each other giving the circumstances, but apparently lived in an established common ground.

The southern Moche, on the other hand, were conquerors. Since early times, the polity in Moche valley expanded over southern valleys, going as far as the Huarmey valley, but also north, conquering the Chicana valley polity and possibly even the northern Jequetepete and Lambayeque states (thus unifying all Moche) for a brief time. The reason for their expansionism is likely related to the fact that these southern valleys provide less irrigation and agricultural potential, thus giving an impetus to the conquest of neighboring valleys.

Map Cambrigde Mochica 500 CE.jpg

Moche at their maximum extent. Taken from Solomon and Schwartz (Eds.) The Cambridge history of the Native Peoples of the Americas, vol. III: South America.

Around the 6th century CE, the Moche entered in decline. Although certainly several elements played a role, researchers like to point that during the century environmental changes (likely related to the world-wide extreme weather events in 535-536 CE) led by intense El Niño events and ultimately provoked a thirty-year drought that put extreme stress over the highly stratified Moche social system, giving rise to social unrest and rebellions. In fact, even their art and iconography changed during this moment, since most likely the Moche elites tried to find new elements to legitimize their status and social organization. Nonetheless, the result of these catastrophic events was the collapse of the southern Moche, who were eclipsed by their northern counterparts. The latter received many refugees from the south and reformed their old polities, building a new capital in Pampa Grande (Lambayeque valley) which in many ways represented a last and desperate collective effort to survive within the old framework of Moche society. This new valley state lasted for a century and around 700 CE the Moche culture disappeared.

Around this time, there is an increasingly expansion of Wari influence in the region. The Wari were a polity from the central Andes and a major culture from the Middle Horizon, and this increased influence coincides with the second wave of expansion of that empire. However, most of the historians and archeologists argue that the Wari arrived when the Moche were on the verge or already collapsed, thus more taking opportunity from the power vacuum instead of imposing a full-scale military invasion. Wari influence was visible in the new style of ceramics and architecture, changing many aspects of these northern coastal peoples despite that effective control lasted for few generations (possibly 50-60 years at maximum).

In the ancient northern Moche lands, where Wari political control and influence was more limited, a new polity emerged at the same time in the Lambayeque valley called Sicán. According to legends collected by Spanish chroniclers centuries later, the Sicán was founded by a mythical noble called Naylamp, who came by the sea (much likely from north in modern-day Ecuador). Interestingly, recent genetic studies have confirmed that this new state was formed by a foreign elite. Nonetheless, the new dynasty established a new kingdom to rule these old Moche peoples and was consolidated around 900 CE, when the Wari empire declined and they established themselves as the new regional power, building a new capital in Batán Grande and becoming one of the richer and prosperous polities from that time. By mid-11th century, the Sicán kingdom was declining (again, environmental and social unrest are usually pointed as causes), but it was able to reform into a new Sicán kingdom (probably with a different ruling dynasty) around the new capital in Túcume. This later Sicán kingdom would last couple more centuries, until its final demise under the Chimú.

The southern Moche lands were incorporated directly by the Wari Empire, and thus felt its influence much more intensely. Nonetheless, by the time that Sicán emerged in the north, another obscure culture also emerged in the south, whose capital was in Casma, on the valley of the same name (and quite closely to the old capital of Sechín/Casma culture), but it proved to be precarious and short-lived polity. The region would only become united with the ascension of the Chimú (or Chimor) Empire by the early Late Intermediate Horizon.

Because the Chimú lasted for a long time, being annexed by the Incas merely 50-60 years before the Spanish conquest, the conquistadors found many stories and even people who were alive by that time. The Spanish chronists wrote that the Incas called the people there Yunka (or Yunga), which was a reference to them being people of the coastal valley. They also spoke a different language that was very distinct from the Quechua (spoken by the Incas and basically all Peruvian highlands) or the Aymara (spoken largely in the southern Inca lands, particularly in modern-day Bolivia and northern Chile). Nonetheless, there was some differences in the language of the more northern (in the lands of the old northern Moche) and the southern (going from the Chimú core area to as south as neighboring areas of modern Lima) areas: in the first, they spoke Mochica (Muchik), which was supposedly the same old language of the old Moche, while in the latter they spoke the lengua pescadora, or Quingnam, spoken by the Chimú. Despite their differences, they were similar, probably belonging to the same linguistic family. Thus, we can reconstruct Chimú history using both those historical sources and also the archeological evidence.

The Chimú emerged around 900 CE, whose core area was at the very center of the old southern Moche kingdom: the Chimú capital, Chan Chan, is located few kilometers northwest from the old Moche capital. The kingdom’s mythical foundation was strikingly similar to the story about Sicán: a foreign noble, called Taycanamo, arrived in the Moche valley in a raft coming from the other side of the sea (tough more probably Ecuador), earned respect from the local population, married the chief’s daughter and was elected their leader, establishing a new dynasty. His son and grandson consolidated the emerging kingdom, expanding to the entire valley and neighboring regions, though archeological evidence point that the Chimú was essentially a small regional polity until 12th century.

Just like the old Moche, the main source of wealth for the Chimú was their huge agricultural output ensured by the large and complex system of irrigation. In fact, the Chimú state was directly involved and responsible for building new and expanding old canals and irrigated fields, also establishing small agricultural colonies whose workers were paid and fed by the state. The Chimú capabilities in these works were impressive, since some canals built were more than 80km long and in their peak they had more than 200 km² of irrigated area, which was surprisingly superior to what it was in the same area in the 1990s and possibly even today. To complement the agricultural output, the Chimú also made use of its large marine resources. Fishing was an essential economic activity, they hunted marine mammals and birds for their meat, bones and pelt, and used fish heads, guano, and carcass of dead marine animals as fertilizer for their fields, increasing its productivity even more.

To be able to mobilize people to these large works, the Chimú developed a strong and centralized state. Not much about their government is known, but we are certain that the Chimú kingdom was a secular state (so priests were not the rulers; archeologists argue that the old Moche, in its last days, was a kind of “transitional” state between the old theocratic chiefdoms to these new “proper” kingdoms). The ruler was hereditary and heirs chosen among the sons and brothers; there are some suggestions about some form of dual hierarchy of power. The ruler was called Çie-quic (great lord; the Inca called him Chimor Capac), the nobility below him was called Alæc, then we had some courtesans called Pixllca who were free from manual labor and taxes. The common workers were called Paraeng and below then we had the Yana, which seems to be something like servants and had the lowest status in Chimú society. Just like the old Moche, their society was quite unequal and, considering their mythology (which says that each of these social classes came from specific stars), we can safely argue for some form of caste system.

The Chimú also inherited much of the old cultural traditions from the Moche, though they also had their unique characteristics. Artisans and artists had a special status in Chimú society and likely were paid and fed by the state, living in specialized quarters and workshops in the large cities; when the Chimú conquered new territories, the most skilled artisans and artists from these new lands were moved to Chan Chan. Thus, they were skilled and renowned for their artistic achievements, even though their art did not achieved the same level of excellence from the old Moche. They were prolific in textiles, metalworking and pottery; the latter was mass produced in molds and had a distinct style of being all-black. The Chimú also were remarkable in their architecture, using much of the same materials of Moche (adobe bricks) but developing a distinct architectural style: instead of using large pyramidal platforms with building complexes above, the Chimú constructed their buildings in the same level but surrounded with huge walls decorated with colorful figures in bas-relief with geometric or figurative motifs, some mimicking their textile patterns. Chan Chan was their largest city, being the largest adobe/brick city in Pre-Columbian Americas with a population that may have been as high as 80k people.

Chan Chan.jpg

Archeological remains of Chan Chan. The largest walled compounds are the remains of the so-called ciudadelas. From National Geographic, available online.

There is some discussion about the precise routes and dates for Chimú expansionism, but in general researchers point that around 1200 CE the Chimú began its imperial conquests. They probably expanded first to the north, conquering parts or the entire Sicán Kingdom, then they turned to the south, conquering all the valleys (ruled by chiefdoms and small valley-states) down as far as Casma or Fortaleza. By mid-14th century, they again resumed the northern expansion, conquering as far north as Tumbes and possibly even some areas in modern-day Ecuador, since this area produced essential resources for the empire, in particular Spondylus shells that had high religious value. After each conquest, the Chimú would consolidate their expansion by building (or rebuilding) a regional capital, whose status was second only to Chan Chan; by 15th century, there were three of these, Tucume, Farfán and Manchan.

Handbook Chimu.jpg

Chimú main centers and routes of expansion. Taken from Silverman and Isbell (Eds.)The Handbook of South American Archaeology.

Around 1450-1460 CE, a new and ambitious Çie-quic ascended to the throne, possibly the 11th from the dynasty established long ago by Tacaynamo, called Minchançaman (or Minchancaman). His rule started during a troubled times, not long after or during the first Inca raid against Chimú territory led by Capac Yupanqui (the brother of the powerful emperor Pachacuti). The resistance against the incursion was poor because their army was concentrated in the northern edges of the empire, consolidating their newly acquired lands.

Minchançaman was aware of the existential menace that the Inca posed to his empire. While Chimú was the one of the largest and more powerful polities in the Andean region (second only to the Inca) and had an extensive system of fortifications to protect strategic crossroads and important cities, Minchançaman knew that his empire was quite vulnerable to an Inca invasion; coming from the highlands, they could attack from several places at the same time and, more importantly, could easily block the springs in the mountains that were the vital source of water to Chimú irrigated fields and cities. Taking advantage from the constant domestic unrest of the expanding Inca Empire, Minchaçaman decided to act aggressively.

We are not certain about what was his objective in these campaigns, nor the exact routes taken, but it seems that he tried to expand to all directions. In the north, he completed the conquest of the Piura region and advanced into the rainforest in the Ecuadorian lowlands; to the east, he tried to conquer many mountain passes as he could, so he could mitigate Chimú vulnerability on that border and ensure the regular flow of water, and seems to have even tried to raid the Inca city of Cajamarca; finally, he seems to have been particularly concerned in conquering southern lands in the modern-day Lima and the famous oracle in Pachakamaq and perhaps even considered advancing up to the nearby highlands, were the rebellious Chanka maintained an uneasy relation under the Inca.

Minchançaman’s actions soon caught attention of the old Inca emperor Pachacuti, who decided to mount a full-scale invasion force by 1462, whose size is estimated between 100-30k men, and gave the command to his young son and heir apparent, Topa Inca, aided by his most trusted and competent generals. The Inca force outnumbered by far the army of Minchançaman (around 15k men), but it had to quell few rebellions within the empire before coming to Cajamarca, in the highlands, where Topa Inca mounted his center of operations. Again, information about the Inca-Chimú war is incomplete and often contradictory, but it seems that first Topa Inca sent a column attack from the south; this force advanced swiftly until Paramonga fortress (the most impressive fortification from that time), laid siege but was defeated after a bloody battle against Chimú reinforcements.

Giving the impasse and defeat in the south, Topa Inca invaded with his main force from Cajamarca, defeating several Chimú fortifications until the last one before Chan Chan. In this last bastion, the Inca suffered another defeat; to mitigate the hit in his army prestige and moral, Topa Inca marched north, raiding and burning as much as he could in Jequetepete and Piura valleys before returning to Cajamarca. There, he changed his plans and decided to conquer the northern tribes and chiefdoms in modern-day Ecuador; it is possible that during this time there was an armistice between the two empires. After a successful campaign in the north and the conquest of Quito Kingdom, Topa Inca was recalled to Cuzco in 1466, when he was elevated to co-emperorship. After few years fighting tropical tribes and chiefdoms in Ecuador, and dealing with unrest within the empire, Topa Inca prepared another invasion against Chimú.

The Inca-Chimú war resumed with Inca conquest of Tumbes, who back then was ruled by a female kuraka (chief), opening the northern route to invade Chimú. Topa Inca then divided his army in new columns and returned to Cajamarca. In the south, an Inca force resumed the invasion of Chimú, this time finally sieging and taking down Paramonga, and thus quickly advanced in the northern valleys; there are few battles recorded won by the Incas. The northern force marched south at same time but faced more challenges from the desertic terrain than from organized resistance. We are uncertain about which of these forces came first to Chan Chan, but in 1470 (or 1476) the Chimú Empire was finally conquered by the Inca. Minchançaman was captured and taken as hostage to Cuzco; his sons became governors of his former lands under Inca supervision. Chan Chan itself was sacked and its riches transferred to Cuzco; likewise, many Chimú artists were also taken to live and work in Cuzco. There was some rebellions and organized resistance to the Inca occupation afterwards, but the conquest was consolidated during Topa Inca rule as emperor.


Now, after all this historical background, let’s think about them and make some suggestions.


Spawn/Starting tile:
Considering who this civilization represents primarily, it seems reasonable some spawn date around the 1st century CE, possibly 100 CE (which is the wikipedia suggested date). While the Moche weren’t really unified, thus really didn’t have a proper capital (at least for any significant amount of time), I’d still say that they should spawn with capital in Moche, given that was the capital of the expansive southern polity and, as a bonus, the old Moche city and Chan Chan are really close irl, we can establish a nice transition with changing the city names at the right time.
Spoiler Moche, Chan Chan and Trujillo :

Archeologial Moche-Chan Chan-Trujillo.jpg

Taken from Gamboa, J. Archeological Heritage in a Modern Urban Landscape: the ancient Moche in Trujillo, Peru.


Dynamic Names:
Usually I don’t include this section in my suggestions, but I’ve deemed important for this civ since they represent a reasonable number of polities. The name in the menu (when you select the civ to play) and when you don’t have any city could be Yunka or Yunga peoples. I know that this name was given (with all the biases included) by the Incas (so that’s not how the Moche or the Chimú called themselves) but seems to be a reasonable generic name for all peoples in the region.

During the Moche gameplay, the generic name could be Moche Valley States/Chiefdoms. If the civ control three or more cities (or have vassals), they could be called as Moche Empire. If the capital is moved somehow to any northern tile above the starting one, the civ should be called Sicán Kingdom. Finally, after the name switch between the Moche to Chan Chan (that should happen sometime around 900 CE, but we can think about more about the triggers), the civ should be called Kingdom of Chimor. Likewise, if they grow larger, they should be called Chimor Empire.

Color/Flag:
The Moche liked to be quite colorful when painting their walls and ceramics, even though there were times that they changed their artistic style for more monochromatic schemes, but in general they favored using red, yellow, white and black, with blue and purple appearing in lesser degree. The Chimú, on the other hand, are famous for their all-black ceramics, though they were somewhat more colorful in their murals, but mostly used the north Peruvian traditional colors, red and white. Considering that this civ will probably interact with almost each single other Andean civ and possibly with conquistadors, I’m inclined to suggest a dark gray, almost like the black barbarian, so we can have a somewhat unique color that should contrast easily with those large number of possible neighboring civs.

About their flag/symbols, we actually don’t know if they used specific banners to represent them; the flag in EU4, for example, is not related to Chimú afaik. Fortunately, they left an impressive artistic legacy and masterpieces that we can use. Personally, I like the face of Ai-Apæc, which was a major deity in Moche times, the so-called "Moche Dragon" here, the adorned tumi (a Moche ceremonial knife) here (tough is currently used by the Inca, so in this case we would have to find out another option for them) or maybe one of the many patterns found in Chan Chan murals, but honestly there are so many art pieces (in jewels, artifacts, ceramics, murals and textiles) that I’m certain that we won’t have much problem in choosing one.

Leaders:
Because the Moche did not had a proper writing system, we don’t know the name of their leaders, although we have several depictions in art about them and other relevant people and some royal/noble tombs. Some of the most famous burials found were the so-called “Lord of Sipán” and the “Lady of Cao”; the first was the ruler of Sipán (do not confuse with the later kingdom of Sicán) and the latter was a high priestess or ruler of El Brujo complex (just north of Moche). Surprisingly, there is some art for the latter here, in a work done by Malayan Gamer recently, so I’d say she would be a nice leader for the civ.

Obviously, the name “Lady of Cao” certainly is not something that we want in the game. I’ll talk more about the possible languages for these peoples when I’m discussing the city names bellow, but for the purpose of leaving some suggestion here, I found that the word for “woman” in Mochica is Mecherræc, so it could go as “Cao Mecherræc”; alternatively, the title “lady” was called Ciequèio during Chimú times, so she could be called “Cao Ciequèio”.

For the Chimú, there is actually a list of several rulers, but two are more famous, the first and last: the mythical Tacaynamo and Minchançaman. I’d argue for the latter, since he was undoubtedly a real person and became a kind of folk hero for the Chimú people after the demise of their empire. Unfortunately, I don’t think that there is any art asset specific for him, so we can explore other options for Andean and, in a lesser part, Mesoamerican LHs.

For favorite civics, the Lady of Cao could have Deification or Redistribution (both pretty representative of Moche society), while Minchançaman can have Caste System (representative of Chimú society) or Conquest (representing himself), though I’d stick with the first option in his case.


UP:
The Moche and Chimú were famous both for their artistic achievements and because they were some of the wealthiest polities by their time given their irrigation systems. So, I’d say that both these characteristics can make good UPs.

  • The Power of Masterpieces: receive a free specialist for every Gold, Silver, Cotton, Copper and Clam that you control. Similar to 1SDAN’s version of the Chimú UP; while certainly this is somewhat overpowered, the civ most likely will not control more than two or three resources of these kind in their regular games. The resources represent the main raw materials used in their art pieces.
  • The Power of the Hydraulic States: workable land tiles surrounding cities have + 1:food: and + 1:commerce:. Representing their irrigation achievements that allowed them to become rich. I thought other possibilities to represent this UP by giving a bonus to their farms or giving a free source of irrigation, but their starting area is quite poor for farming considering that they are mostly surrounded by mountains and plain/hill tiles, so I’m open for other ideas.


UU:
While there is so much info about several aspects of Moche and Chimú societies, unfortunately we are somewhat limited when thinking specifically about possible UUs. Here I try to suggest a somewhat generic military unit representing their warfare traditions, and a civilian unit.

  • Moche/Chimú warrior (Light Swordsman or Skirmisher):
Spoiler Moche and Chimú warfare :
The Moche developed specific military traditions and, judging from their art, archeological findings and oral traditions, were belligerent people that gave a special social role for their warriors. While there is some discussion about the exact role of warfare in the Moche society, with some researchers suggesting that war had essentially a religious and ceremonial role to ensure sacrificial victims (like the Aztec Flower Wars), others point that even tough warfare was shaped by cultural values (just like in any society), the reasons for going to war were much more mundane, essentially political and economic affairs that often resulted in new agreements and marriages between the nobility of the valley-states (like the Maya warfare).

The basic outfit of Moche warriors were a long shirt-like garment (sometimes shown with short sleeves), a tunic that reached mid-thigh and was secured at the waist by a belt. Finally, a conical helmet completed the common costume; rarely, we can find depictions showing some kind of armor that included metal disks, padded cloth and wood. Some of them used decorated tumi-shaped helmets, indicating their noble status. Warriors also often painted their faces and part of their body and, curiously, usually did not wear any shoe or sandal when fighting.

Their common weapons were maces, war clubs, spear-throwers (quite like the Mesoamerican atlatl), darts and slings. The main weapon, however, was the Moche war club, which was a two-handed club with a biconical and ribbed head. Often, they also show a basal spike in its lower part, possibly made with copper that could be detached if required. This was the favorite weapon of Moche nobles and certainly gave them an advantage in warfare, particularly against their neighbors that used smaller one-handed maces made with wood and stone. Because of its size, the Moche noble warrior couldn’t wield a large shield, and thus usually carried a small rounded one, attached to his arm, to provide some defense against sling projectiles.

Moche battle scene.jpg

Battle scene. From Bourget and Jones (Eds.) The Art and Archeology of the Moche.

Thus, we can infer that the Moche had a quite aggressive stance in battle, trying to engage the enemy as quick as possible to ensure the hand-to-hand combat that they excelled. It has been argued that slings and spear-throwers were more used in the earlier periods, but their popularity declined by later Moche times in favor of the war club; the transition could be related to changing warfare patterns to ensure the social supremacy of the noble warrior class (just like the samurai and their historical relationship with gunpower weapons).

The Chimú were, in many aspects, heirs from these old Moche and north Peruvian military traditions. Some aspects were even almost identical, but nonetheless, it seems that for most part the Chimú weren’t the renowned warriors that the Moche were before; this could be explained in large part by Inca biases and prejudices. The multiethnic Inca army rarely recruited units among the Chimú because considered them poor warriors; however the fact that the Chimú built the largest kingdom besides the Inca proves that this was an oversimplification. Perhaps one of the reasons lies in the fact that they were excellent in building their defensive fortifications, even better than the Inca (who later incorporated this proficiency by recruiting Chimú engineers); certainly it was a frustrating sight for the Incas, who labeled this defensive stance as a kind of cowardice.

By the time of Spanish conquest, the conquistadors described their weapons and equipment in detail. They noted that the Chimú fought with their bare foot and used a shorter shirt than the regular Inca unku (the long shirt that was the basic cloth of Inca soldiers) that was also secured at the waist by a belt. The common headdress was often a kind of turban (the Spanish described it like those of gypsies and Berbers in North Africa) or, less frequent, a conic helmet made with padded cloth. The Chimú also often painted their faces and bodies, particularly in black. The main weapons were spears, one-handed maces (so they could wield shields) and spear-throwers; the last one was uncommon in the highlands, but it was still quite popular in the coastal valleys and tropical areas.
Chimú Warrior 1.jpg

Detail illustrating a Chimú warrior. Taken from Wise and McBride, The Conquistadores (Osphrey collection Men-at-Arms).
Chimú Warrior 2.jpg

Detail of a reconstruction of another Chimú warrior, showing the two common headdresses described by the Spanish. Taken from Health, I.The armies of the Aztec and Inca Empires, Other Native Peoples of the Americas, and the Conquistadores 1450-1608.


The discussion above should give us a cleared picture of how the Moche and Chimú warriors were and fought, providing the basis to us think and design their UU. I can think in two reasonable units: a Moche warrior with their typical two-handed war club and tumi-helmet, replacing the Light Swordsman (perhaps without the Copper requirement), and a Skirmisher unit, equipped with Chimú outfit, wielding a spear-thrower. I looked for any specific name for these warriors but couldn’t find any reference in Mochica or Quingnam, so we have an issue in naming them if we go this way. In worst case scenario, we could use Quechua names, and the wiki page about the Incan army has several options to look after. The art asset is another issue, tough 1SDAN’s mod offer one; I’ve also found a Moche/Chimú inspired warrior in the old mod Quot Capita (which also includes the Chimú as playable civ), but it is not much historically accurate.
  • Caballito de Totora (Work Boat): a typical reed boat that both the Moche and Chimú fisherman used and was portrayed in their art. This work boat could be either cheaper or provide additional Food, Production or Commerce (giving the reliance of these peoples on maritime resources). Obviously, we probably should not call the unit that way, since it is a reference in Spanish to horses, so perhaps could be called Totora Raft or T’utura (Quechua name for the plant) Raft/Boat. Alternatively, this unit could be the UU for Norte Chico/Caral, tough we are not certain if they used it or not. As the unit above, the art asset may be an issue, even though this unit is quite simple.


UB:
The peoples on the north Peruvian coastal valleys developed a distinct architectural style from other Andean regions, characterized by using adobe bricks instead of stones as main material. The Moche and Chimú also developed their own styles within this tradition, as mentioned above in the historical discussion, and were engaged in monumental building. As such, I have some few suggestions, though they have some minor issues, mostly related to art assets.

  • Citadels (Castle, available with Engineering, 25% bonus to :gp: generation): the ciudadelas (Spanish for citadels) were the most distinctive buildings of the Chimú culture. They were essentially royal palaces that that served for multiple purposes, which included royal dwellings, courts, ceremonial quarters, administrative structures, and burial grounds. Surrounded by large, adorned walls (some as high as 9 mts) that ensured some defensive capabilities but also a physical barrier to divide the noble castes from the common population. While this certainly is a quite good option, there are couple issues. First is the UB name, as I couldn’t find how the Chimú called their palaces, only references using the later Spanish name; besides, a UB called citadel is already the Spanish UB. Some mods used the name Kancha (including 1SDAN’s, for which I actually suggested), which is actually the Quechua name for the Inca palaces. Second, the citadels were basically found only in Chan Chan. Each Chimú king supposedly built a citadel that eventually became his burial place; outside the capital, some of the most important administrative buildings mimicked some characteristics of these royal palaces, but they technically were not citadels. You can see some pictures here and above in the image of Chan Chan. The proposed bonuses are identical to 1SDAN’s version.
  • Mahamaes or Wachaques (Aqueduct, available with Leverage, + 1:food: + 2:commerce:): this UB would basically represent the canals and irrigation systems that made both the Moche and Chimú wealthy. They were essentially an agricultural technique for water management, inverting the logic of terraced agriculture that existed in the highlands in a form of sunken fields. This technique, which has several names (including both listed here, tough I’m unsure about the language), was common in all Peruvian coastal valleys (a notable exception was in Nazca region, in which was more commonly found the Pukios, an underground canal) but particularly in the northern regions that were the core areas of this civ.
  • Artisan’s Workshop (Forge [being available earlier] or Weaver, + 1 Artist slot, + 1:commerce: per specialist): both the Moche and Chimú regarded highly their artisans, whose social status was above the common people. In their cities there were specialized neighborhoods where these artists lived and worked. Thus, this UB tries to represent this condition. It can replaces the Forge (tough it would be somewhat similar to Italian UB) or the Weaver.

UHVs:
Both the Moche and Chimú were famous for their artistic achievements and about how wealthy their kingdoms were; the latter also became known for their architectural achievements and for being the largest Andean polity besides the Inca Empire. So here goes some UHVs suggestions:

  • The Andean Master Craftsmen: settle three Great Artists by 700 CE and become the most cultured civilization in the world and/or have more artists and great artists than any other civilization by 1400 CE.
  • The Royal Tombs: have a Pagan Temple in each city that you control and amass 2500 Gold by 900 CE.
  • The Mighty Paramonga: build two Castles (or UB if we chose the citadels) by 1300 CE.
  • Minchançaman Revenge: destroy or vassalize the Inca by 1470 CE.
  • Blessings of Si: control more sea resources than all the other American civilizations combined in 1400 CE.
  • The Mythical Heritage: discover Oceania before the Europeans or before the Conquistadors event in the Americas or build a colony in Oceania.

Expansion and Resources:
The civ represents several polities in a relatively long timespan and we must take this fact in consideration. Nonetheless, both the Moche and the Chimú occupied roughly the same core areas and tough the latter was more expansive, they really didn’t conquer much more than the old areas within some Moche cultural influence, essentially unifying all the coastal valleys from north Peru. This aspect, however, present some issues with city naming, since the most important Moche cities were abandoned, being replaced by later Chimú cities that occupy the same tile in map.

Another issue related to city naming is related to the languages of these civilizations. Because the Moche didn’t developed writing and disappeared before historical accounts could be made, we really don’t know the name that they gave to their own cities by that time, tough those could have influenced how the later peoples called the regions and ruins of these former cities. The supposedly language that they spoke, Mochica (Muchik), was recorded by some Spanish colonial authorities and was still spoken in few places by the end of 19th century, when became a dead language. Nowadays some Peruvian authorities are engaged in reviving the language and produced some dictionaries, vocabularies and small manuals for learning like this one (unfortunately most are in Spanish), however I’ve to say that was difficult to find reliable sources online. The language of the Chimú, Quingnam, present even more challenges. While spoken during the Spanish conquest, the language quickly disappeared by the end of 16th century given how Quechua became dominant (interestingly both the Inca and the Spanish supported it over local languages, the first obviously to ensure their authority and the latter to make the missionary work easier) and because many of the native speakers, just like everywhere else in the Americas, died in mass from diseases carried by the conquistadors. Thus, we have only fragments of Quingnam, tough there are some references to the names of cities and regions. I’ve tried to stick to Mochica and Quingnam names as possible, but there are few of them that we probably will have to use Quechua, including translating some Spanish modern names; I’m using this online dictionary for that.

So, without further delay, here are the proposed core/expansion areas. I’ve divided the city names by two periods, the Moche and Chimú eras, compromising the first and later timespan of the civ.
Spoiler :

Map.jpg

Cyan: core tiles
Light Green: proposed historical expansion areas
Orange: possible historical expansion areas; they are the Nazca lands, where the Moche became quite influential but actually didn’t established any form of political control.
ABC: respectively, Cuzco, Wari and Quito. Highlighted to show where other contemporaneous neighboring civs are located; the first two are the capitals of Inca and Wari civilizations, while the last is the modern capital of Ecuador that was itself the capital of an indigenous kingdom and probably should appear as Indy/Native city.


Moche Era:
1 – Moche, the starting tile. Apparently called Muchi in Quechua and possibly Muchik in Mochica.
2 – Sipán and/or Pampa Grande. Sipán was the capital of the Moche state in Lambayaque valley. The name comes from a Spanish city, but the site is also called Huaca Rajada, something like “cracked huaca”, which would be Waqcha Wak’a (Quechua). Pampa Grande was the capital of the last Moche state. Pampa means field or valley in Quechua, so the translation would be Hatun Pampa (“large valley/field”, the same name was used by the Incas for other cities).
3 – Loma Negra: the main site from the early Moche in Piura valley. Translating the name (that means “black hill”) to Quechua I found Yana Tula.
4 – Pañamarca: the name comes from Quechua Paña Marka (village on the right [bank]).
7 – Cajamarquilla or Wallamarka or Pukllana: all represent the main urban centers of the old Lima culture and all are located near modern Lima, so placing them in this tile is some stretch to ensure that they are represented (the areas between Moche and Lima lands were mostly rural with small villages, hence the troubles to find a proper city name for the tile). All names are Quechua; the first is the northmost city and was built entirely in adobe, the two later are located inside modern Lima. Wallamarka is a little more north than Pukllana, but the latter was the “capital” of the Lima culture.
8 – Pachakamaq or Pacha Kamaq: large oracle and religious complex just south of modern Lima, named after a god of same name. Originally built by the Lima culture, it remained an important religious center until de Spanish conquest. Precisely for this reason, I prefer Pachakamaq in this tile to ensure a nice transition to modern Lima.
9 – Warikayan: an ancient necropolis from the Topara or Paracas culture, the predecessors of the Nazca and famous for the elongated skulls found there. I could not find the etymology of the name.
10 – Cahuachi: main complex and possibly spiritual capital/center of the contemporaneous Nazca culture.

Chimú Era:
1 – Chan Chan: capital of Chimú Kingdom, just north of the old Moche capital. The name is Quingnam and means “great sun”. We could establish a nice transition to the colonial city of Trujillo, built few km south (between the sites of Moche and Chan Chan) by the Spanish.
2 – Túcume or Batán Grande: both were capitals of the Sicán Kingdom, but Túcume remained an important regional center during later Chimú and Inca times. The name seems to come from the Mochica word tok (home) or from the legendary chief called Tucmi, who supposedly ruled the area for Naylamp (the founder of Sicán Kingdom). Alternatively, could be Batán Grande, the older capital of the Sicán Kingdom. The name of the site is in Spanish and refers to the rock formations in the area, but the place is also known as Sicán, Signán or Shínan (itself the same etymology of the kingdom’s name) which seems to have been Mochica or Quingnam meaning “abode/temple of the moon”.
3 – Tumbes: comes from the people in the region, called Tumpis, whose name comes from the ceremonial knife called tumi. An important political and commercial center both for the Chimú and Inca.
4 – Manchan: most important southern regional capital under the Chimú. I couldn’t find any references for the origin of the name, but I’d guess that comes from Quingnam and means “something + sun”.
5 – Tumipampa: another important commercial center in southern Ecuador, inhabited by the Cañar culture; it was under Chimú influence but probably not under political control. Name means “knife field/valley” in Quechua and was another important center for the Inca, but it was known as Guapondelig by the Cañars.
6 – Ingapirka or Puna: Both cities were actually outside of Chimú’s area of influence (tough part of the territory that the tile represent was) but they played key roles in the Inca-Chimú war. The first is actually located in the highlands and was originally known as Hatun Kañar in Quechua, meaning “Cañar capital”. The city was rebuilt by the Incas afterwards gaining a name that means “Inca wall”. The latter is the name of an island in southern Ecuador that was inhabited by a piratical chiefdom supposedly called by the same name that often fought and plundered Chimú trade routes; they allied themselves with the Inca to march south against Tumbes.
7 – Paramonga: the most formidable fortress of the Chimú Kingdom. The name seems to come from Mochica word “vassals from here” or from Quechua expression to “it’s going to rain”.
8 – Pachakamaq: as said above, Pachakamaq still was an important religious center by Chimú times.
9/10 – I’m actually unsure about the names in these areas because honestly I didn’t looked much, since they were outside the influence of Chimú and mostly rural lands with small villages. But to suggest some options, I’ve found the name Huaman Karpa as the capital of some Chanka chiefdoms; for later Inca names, I’ve found respectively Inkawasi (an administrative center that they built) and Naska (name for the region and the peoples that inhabited these lands).


On a side note here, and taking my previous discussions about other north Peruvian pre-Columbian civilizations in account, I’ve got a feeling that I can try to improve a little more the region, especially considering the possible new additions. I’ll mess around with the new map, switch some tiles and hopefully show some ideas in the map suggestions thread.


Pagan Religion:
The religions of both Moche and Chimú empires present some specific unique characteristics, however they do share some elements with other Andean cultures before and after them, which would justify using the same Inti religion of the Incas. I’m not sure if it is possible, but perhaps we can use the same template of Inti for these civs but use distinct URVs to show their unique aspects.

Anyway, let’s discuss their religion, which unfortunately we don’t know much and thus there is not much academic consensus about it. The Moche art show several anthropomorphized animals and/or zoomorphized humans that represent their gods and mythological figures, many of them seems to be later versions of older Chavín and Cupisnique deities. The most important was Ai-Apæc (other names are “Fanged God” or “Snake-belt God”), which also appears in other cultures (Chavín, Tiwanaku and Wari); the deity is often found being helped by an “Iguana God” and fighting against the “Moche Dragon”. The other god commonly portrayed in art is the Decapitator God (also called “Spider Decapitator”), whose origins are also in the older Chavín culture and is often show holding a human head as sacrifice; probably many of the human sacrifices of Moche society were made to him. Finally, we have the “Moon Animal”, a kind of fox or dog seated over a half-moon that seems to have been a common deity common from the coastal valleys. By later Moche times, when their society started to decline, there is an impressive change in the artistic style that also shows new gods, themselves introduced to cope with the changing times that the late Moche society faced (be social unrest or climate changes). The “Decapitator” turns into the “Owl God” and Ai-Apæc is abandoned in favor to the new sun god, called “Rayed God”, which is often portrayed in military outfits.

The Chimú religion is also largely unknown. Chronists from colonial times wrote little about it, but suggested that the religion had three main gods in their pantheon: the moon, called Si and seem as the most powerful deity (since the moon could be seen both in day and night, plus lunar phases interfere in sea tides), the sea and the sun, one of which called Ni. Archeological research over Chimú art shed some additional light, revealing the four more depicted deities: the “Staff God”, the “Plumed Headdress Deity”, the “Chimú Goddess” and the “Moon Animal”, all which had a standardized image by the Chimú government. The Staff God was the old Andean deity (depicted since Norte Chico/Caral times) that we talked before; the “Plumed Headdress Deity” was similar to the first and possibly represented his other face. The Chimú Goddess is associated with the moon and sea, possibly being Si; she was often portrayed with sea monsters (and sea animals) sitting over the moon. Both she and the “Moon Animal” were old deities in Peruvian north coast, and depicted by the Moche art.

Possible URVs could include controlling sea resources, settling Great People or even making sacrifices (thus we could use some of the mechanics from the Aztecs here, tough afaik no Andean society made human sacrifices in that scale).
 
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