“Andean civilization: Complex of aboriginal cultures that evolved in the Andean region of western South America before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. Unlike the peoples of the Mesoamerican civilization to the north, none of the Andean peoples developed a system of writing, though the Incas devised a sophisticated system of recording numbers. In its level of cultural development and technical expertise in the arts and crafts, however, this civilization constitutes a New World counterpart to those of ancient Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia.”
Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.