Archeological findings and Spanish chronicles demonstrate that pre-Hispanic peoples not only had developed an unparalleled mastery of metallurgy, but that they were extremely skillful working with textiles, ceramics, feathers and other non-metal materials. These non-metallic objects were often just as highly valued as metallic objects.
Pre-Hispanic peoples were known to each other and had therefore developed a well functioning trading system between them. Seashells were a particularly important commodity across the Andes. Textiles were also widely traded and sold at fixed prices.