▪ ancient South American cultureculture centred on the peninsula of the same name, located in present-day southern Peru in the vicinity of Ica, during the Early Horizon and the Early Intermediate periods (c. 900 BC–AD 400). The Paracas culture's earlier phase, called Paracas Cavernas, is related to the Chavín culture (c. 1000–400 BC). The pottery of the period is not well-fired and was sometimes painted after firing. The Paracas cultures of the middle Early Intermediate Period (c. AD 1–400) are referred to as the Paracas Pinilla and the Paracas Necrópolis phases. These periods show an improvement in pottery making. The Paracas Necrópolis people were named for and described by the study of cemeteries discovered at Cerro Colorado. The people wrapped the mummified corpses of their deceased, along with funeral offerings, in embroidered cloaks, which are among the finest examples of the art of textile making. The multicoloured designs on these textiles bear a definite relationship to those of painted pottery of the contemporaneous and later Nazca culture. These people also engaged in artificial deformation of the skull by binding the skull in infancy.
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