For the ancient Incas alpacas were important domestic animals, but the wool was reserved for nobility only. It is estimated that during the arrival of Spaniards there have been tens of millions of alpacas grazing the grassy pastures.
The most well-preserved ancient textiles were discovered from tombs in Paracas area, near the famous Nazca lines. These tombs contained more than 400 mummies dating back to 1000-200 BC and all wrapped in alpaca wool shrouds. These burial textiles had
been skillfully prepared and displayed more than 150 colors, all remarkably well conserved. Painted cotton fabrics created by Chavin culture from 2000-500 BC are the oldest discoveries of ancestors in South America, although scientist claim to have found artifacts as old as 5000 years.