Radiocarbon dates can provide an effective overview of regional trends in non-complex societies when treated in a quantitative manner. In spite of intervening biases, numbers of radiocarbon dates should reflect the patterns of occupation across time. Using the date record of preceramic Perú, I illustrate very different radiocarbon trends for highland and coastal zones. These suggest exponential growth, equilibrium, and altitude shift for the occupations of coastal, puna, and highland valley regions. Biases caused by variation in temporal and geographic investigation, and the effects of sea-level rise are considered, but I argue that general occupational patterns overshadow distortions of the date record.