The town of Olmos in the northern region of Lambayeque in Peru is saddened and bewildered after large swaths of the local Ficuar archaeological complex were destroyed by unknown parties.
Andina news agency reports that the site is 800 to 900 years old. Archaeologist Juan Ugáz Moro told Andina that the areas of the destroyed included platforms that may have been used as an administration area and patio.
According to Andina, 5,000 square meters of the Ficuar complex were destroyed, representing about 60 percent of the site’s total area. Read more.
Human-sacrifice rituals at an ancient Moche temple in Peru likely featured the killing of war captives from distant valleys, according to an analysis of bones and teeth at the site.
The human remains—mutilated, dismembered, and buried in pits—help explain territorial struggles among the Moche, who ruled Peru’s arid coast from around 100 A.D. to 850 A.D.
Debate among scholars over Moche human sacrifices has centered on the question of whether they were ritual killings of elites or of war prisoners, says archaeologist John Verano of Tulane University in New Orleans, one of the authors of the report, available online and in an upcoming issue of Journal of Archaeological Science. Read more.
High on a remote cliffside in northern Peru, a line of sentinels gaze out from a ledge, their unblinking eyes painted onto clay faces that guard the mummified occupants within. These are the purunmachu – sarcophagi – in which the Chachapoya people, placed their dead.
By the time the Spanish arrived in Peru at the beginning of the 16th Century the Chachapoya people had already been conquered and absorbed in to the Inca Empire. Although they had resisted, the lands of these Warriors of the Clouds had been annexed and the people forced to adopt the customs and culture of their conquerors. However, they left one thing behind as a monument to their existence – the strange sarcophagi. Read more.
Illegal use and occupation of land near Ica is worrying cultural and archaeological authorities in the area.
According to El Comercio, ‘invasores’ (‘invaders’) have taken possession of two large tracts of land in a protected area. El Comercio reports that several groups of lines and trapezoid shapes have been destroyed by machinery, and the occupants of the land have also constructed a stone fence, as well as divided the territory into lots, abandoned equipment there, and vandalized the area.
El Comercio reports that cultural authorities are unsure what to do in the face of such destruction. “We’re surprised by the indifference shown by the ‘invasores’ about preserving this legacy,” said Giuseppe Orefici, Director of the Center for Pre Columbian Archaeological Studies and the Nasca Project. Read more.
Archaeology and history buffs will have to add one more stop to their lists of ancient sites to visit in Peru: Uyo Uyo.
The Uyo Uyo archaeological site (not to be confused with the disputed phallic ruins at Inca Uyo near Puno or the Nigerian city of Uyo) is located in the Valle del Colca. According to Andina, the site is a pre-Inca citadel that contains houses, a plaza, and an observatory.
Andina reports that the restoration work on the site lasted three years and cost around S/. 3.5 million. By the end of the month, authorities are hoping to see all that hard work pay off— the complex is scheduled to open to the public on Thursday, Nov. 28. Read more.
Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered remains of over 100 dogs thought to be 1,000 years old in the ancient ruins of Parque de las Leyendas in Lima, Peru.
Sixty-two complete canine remains were found along with seventy-five incomplete remains according to Peru’s El Comercio. All the dog skeletons were found in resting positions alongside human remains. The dogs are thought to be companions to the humans they were buried with and part of a ritual ceremony.
The remains were found in the Maranga Archaeological Complex located inside the Parque de las Leyendas. Read more.
There won’t be much dust to brush off of the artifacts found at this dig, but there will certainly be a host of factors making life complicated for the archaeologists beginning an underwater dig near Pachacamac.
According to Andina news agency, archaeologists are searching for clues to better understand the relationship between the holy site at Pachacamac and the islands near the coast. Experts believe that the islands were of great religious significance to prehispanic peoples, reports Andina.
Andina writes that a legend first recorded in the 1600s indicates that the islands may have been understood to be the embodiments of the goddess Cavillaca and her daughter, who threw themselves into the sea after leaving the mountains and traveling to the coast. Read more.
During an excavation at the Huaca Partida archaeological complex from August to September, Japanese specialist Koichiro Shibata made a remarkable discovery: a depiction of a man and a bird of prey in relief, measuring three meters in height and two meters in length.
According to The Japan News, reliefs at this kind of site are rarely found. As they are made out of clay, many have deteriorated beyond recognition over the millennia. However, the Huaca Partida site seems to be a fortunate location for this kind of art, as another large relief featuring a depiction of a jaguar was discovered there in 2005. The presence of the two relief murals is leading investigators to believe that they may be part of a much larger frieze. Read more.