Peru is a country in South America bordered by Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. It is known for being the land of the ancient Inca civilizations and one of the countries that contains the Andes mountain range of South America.
The first traces of human presence in Peru date as far back as 11000 BC. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state and within a hundred years formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The society was based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing and had an economy based on exchange and taxation of goods and labor.
The Inca, like other native cultures in Latin America, would eventually see the Spanish invasion bring a permanent end to their empire. Francisco Pizarro, a conquistador from Spain, arrived with his men in Peru around 1529 to look around and came back in 1532 after gaining permission to conquer the Inca and establish a Spanish hold. Within a year, the Spanish had captured, imprisoned and killed the last great Inca ruler, Atahualpa. Just a decade later, the Viceroyalty of Peru, the most powerful in the Americas, was created by the Spanish Crown. The Spanish converted the majority of the native people to Catholicism and began to build Spanish colonial architecture that can still be seen today.