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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an archaeological culture of the late second millennium and first half of the first millennium B.C. in the northern highlands of Peru. It is named after the village of Chavín de Huantar on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Blanca, near which is located the principal monument of this culture—a temple complex (rebuilt several times). The remains of platforms and a stone temple (Castillo) were discovered, as well as numerous underground galleries, stone statues of deities, and carved slabs with depictions of jaguars, condors, and mythical creatures. The same types of images also appear on the clay pottery.

The bearers of the Chavín culture apparently were on the verge of a class society. The influence of the Chavín culture extended throughout what is now Peru.


Bashilov, V. A. Drevnie tsivilizatsii Peru i Bolivii. Moscow, 1972. Pages 17–22.
Lumbreras, L. G. “Los estudios sobre Chavín.” Revista del Museo Nacional, vol. 38, Lima, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.