Caral Pyramids. Caral, Peru was home to one of the oldest American civilizations. About 120 miles from modern day Lima, the area was home to a civilization more than 5,000 years ago --- roughly the same time major civilizations sprang up in the Nile River valley. And no, I am not hinting that there is a tie, or aliens were involved. As an archaeologist, I find it infuriating that many "modern" people cannot grasp that ancient people were just as smart and capable as we are.