Prior to the Chavín culture are cultures that are either synonymous with the Chavín or on the horizon of the Chavín culture. Pacopampa (Quechua: paqu pampa) is an archaeological site located in the northern highlands of Peru, in the department of Cajamarca. It presents the remains of a monumental ceremonial center, made with cut and polished stone. It belongs to the Formative period, dating from 1200 to 500 BC. In the 1930s Rafael Larco Hoyle visited the area where samples were collected from the lithosculpture that he then brought it to his museum in Chiclín (Trujillo) and today it is found in the Larco Museum in Lima. He was the first to report, though in a brief manner, on such findings on the site. Pacopampa was related to the Chavin culture when Julio César Tello, the father of Peruvian archeology, made his theory about the origins of the Peruvian culture. By analyzing pottery they created a stage prior to the Chavin influence Pacopampa-called Pacopampa (1200 BC), different from the one that follows, entitled Pacopampa-Chavin (700 BC). This stone mortar represents the fusion of three sacred animals of Peru, the bird, the feline and the serpent.
The history of Peru spans several millennia, extending back through several stages of cultural development in the mountain region and the coastal desert. About 15,200 years ago, groups of people are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and survived as nomads, hunting, gathering fruits and vegetables and fishing in the sea, rivers, and lakes. Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the six oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. It was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, which established a Viceroyalty with jurisdiction over most of its South American domains. The nation declared independence from Spain in 1821, but consolidated only after the Battle of Ayacucho, three years later. This is essentially a foundation article for the discussion of artifacts that will follow.