Sierra (Peru), the Andean highland region where approximately half of the country's population lived in 1990. It is formed by three ranges of mountains with fertile river valleys, high plains, and deep canyons. The western Andean slopes lead to the desertic coastal region, while the easternmost slopes—the ceja de selva (jungle's eyebrow)—start the region of the Amazonian rain forest. By the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Andean people had developed a sophisticated system of vertical control that allowed access to a rich variety of crops at different altitudes as well as agrarian techniques such as terracing and irrigation. Under Spanish rule the Sierra became a highly productive mineral region.
See alsoAgriculture .
Javier Pulgar Vidal, Geografía del Perú: Las ocho regiones naturales del Perú (1972).
Reinhard, Johan. The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites in the Andes. Washington DC: National Geographic Society, 2005.
Stern, Steve J. Shining and Other Paths: War and Society in Peru, 1980–1995. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998.
Alfonso W. Quiroz