Peru, officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: Perú or República del Perú pron. IPA, , is a country in western South America, bordering Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil to the east, Bolivia to the south-east, Chile to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
In addition to being known as the cradle of the Inca empire, Peru is the home of many indigenous ethnic groups.
Archaeological evidence present in sites located in the caves of Piquimachay (Ayacucho), Chivateros, Lauricocha, Paijan, and Toquepala indicates that hunters and gatherers inhabited Peru twenty thousand years ago. Some of the oldest civilizations appeared circa 6000 BC in the coastal provinces of Chilca and Paracas, and in the highland province of Callejón de Huaylas.