Located in the Supe Valley of Peru and dating to 3000 BC, Caral is the earliest civilization in the Americas. Although Caral predates the Incas and Zapotecs, it remains less well known than other archaeological sites like Machu Picchu. Discovered in 1905, Caral was initially considered a curiosity and largely forgotten. But in 1994 Peruvian anthropologist and archaeologist Ruth Shady embarked on comprehensive excavations, bringing to light the full import of Caral. This book of breathtaking photographs by Christopher Kleihege and illuminating text in English and Spanish by Shady captures the mystery and beauty of one of the world's oldest cities. Nearly two hundred color photographs document Caral's many impressive pyramids, plazas, and other constructions. These photographs portray the intricate layout of the city in the context of the stunning landscape of the Andes. "Caral" presents a fascinating and dramatic window into the ancient world and will prove essential to anyone curious about the earliest origins of civilization in the Americas.
Ruth Shady has directed the Special Archaeological Project Caral-Supe and currently serves as the president of the Consejo Internacional de Monumentos y Sitios-Peru (the International Council of Monuments and Sites-Peru). Christopher Kleihege lives in Chicago and has been photographing Caral since 2006.