The earliest settlers arrived in South America more than 12,000 years ago. These settlers and their descendants populated and adapted to South America's varied geographic regions. From the continent's vast grasslands of central Argentina to the large river basins of the Amazon, and from the high Andean mountains to Tierra del Fuego—"the end of the world," great civilizations, like the Inca, and smaller ones, like the Wari, made South America their home.The A to Z of Ancient South America
describes our current knowledge of the indigenous peoples who lived in South America prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 1500s. Through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 700 cross-referenced dictionary entries on names of sites and archaeological groups or cultures; material items, such as architectural elements, deities, and crops; and famous archaeologists who have worked in South America, the prehistory of all the regions in South America are covered.