Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "peru"


The mysterious town of Gramalote was undergoing meaningful changes, archaeologists say.

Recent excavations have allowed [archaeologists] to find a temple where, 3,500 years ago, the first fishermen of the village of Gramalote, on the sea near Huanchaquito, officiated their mysterious rituals.

It’s a rock structure located in the highest area of the town. There’s a central ceremonial patio, with steps, and what could be a platform. There is still evidence of a fire, possibly one that was left to burn for years.

Private areas were also found in the back of the temple. The interesting thing about these spaces is that they were all connected by a long hallway, and the floor was made of stone. Read more.


New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art currently houses hundreds of artifacts from the Mochica culture— and Peru wants them back.

Peruvian cultural artifacts are making their way home from all over the world— Sweden’s return of the Paracas textiles being a particularly high-profile incidence of repatriation. Now, the regional government of Piura is looking to get back 400 pieces currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

El Comercio reports that the pieces in question were found in the Loma Negra cemetery, an area in which a number of Mochica elite were buried. Grave robbers sacked the tombs in the 1960s, and no extensive investigation into the site has been carried out, writes El Comercio. Read more.

Researchers in Peru have announced that they have cause to believe the Incas used observatories on Machu Picchu to track the movement heavenly bodies.

El Comercio reports that a team of Polish and Peruvian investigators looked specifically at the Intimachay area of Machu Picchu, which contains a structure with a front and side window. The researchers report that Inca astronomers could have watched and tracked a number of astronomical phenomena from the area, including summer and winter solstices and the movement of the moon.

According to the investigators, Intimachay was likely a sacred space. Read more.

Archaeologists working at the Huaca de la Luna have unearthed a previously unknown tomb belonging to a Mochica ruler.

According to El Comercio, the tomb, which contained the remains of an adult male, held a number of objects indicating the man’s elite status.

El Comercio reports that the body was accompanied by a copper scepter similar to the one found with the Lord of Sipan. Bronze earrings, a mask, and ceremonial ceramics were also found.

The most interesting artifacts, however, were small pieces made to look like feline jaws and paws. El Comercio reports that the animal body parts may have been part of a ritual costume used in ceremonial combat. Read more.

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław discovered more than 150 graves belonging to a previously unknown culture in Peru. The find, dated to the 4th-7th century AD, indicates that the northern part of the Atacama Desert had been inhabited by a farming community before the expansion of the Tiwanaku civilization.

The team from Institute of Archaeology of the University of Wrocław has performed research in southern Peru since 2008. The cemetery was discovered in the Tambo River delta, in the northern part of the Atacama Desert. “These graves had been dug in the sand without any stone structures, and for this reason they were so difficult to locate that they have not fallen prey to robbers” - Read more.

Quipus were used as a form of record-keeping in Inca society, which had no written language.

A set of twenty-five well-preserved quipus were found in the archaeological complex of Incahuasi, south of Lima, Alejandro Chu, archaeologist in charge of the site reported on Tuesday.

Chu told Andina News Agency that this is a major finding as the quipus were found in warehouses or kallancas and not in a funerary context, as most discoveries in the past, “what makes us believe they were used for administrative purposes”.

According to the Peruvian archaeologist, these objects, used by the Inca empire and previous societies in the Andean region, have different sizes the longest measures 3 meters and they have multiple knotted strings of different colors. Read more.


Findings at the archaeological complex of Ventarron, including a small Mochica temple located 4 kilometers away from the district of Pomalca in Lambayeque, were described as a “laboratory of original architecture” by Peruvian archaeologist and investigator Walter Alva.

The pre-Hispanic site houses all the architectural forms such as circular walls, curved walls, curved rectangular structures, altars for fire worship, among others.

Evidence for fire worship— the oldest tradition in America— is found at Ventarron temple, just as it was found in Caral, Kotosh, and Pirulo in the southern highlands. Read more.

A rare and fragile pre-Incan funeral shroud was displayed to reporters Monday, part of the first batch of ancient Paracas textiles that Sweden is returning to Peru 80 years after they were smuggled out by a diplomat.

The intricately colored shroud, measuring 41 inches by 21 inches (104 centimeters by 53 centimeters), and 88 other textiles were donated to a museum in Gothenburg in the early 1930s by Swedish consul Sven Karell. He had secreted them out of Peru after they were discovered in the Paracas Peninsula, a desert south of Lima where the extremely dry climate helped protect the Alpaca wool fibers.

Despite being some 2,000 years old, “it is perfectly preserved,” said Krzysztof Makowski, a University of Warsaw archaeologist who has studied the shroud as a professor at the Catholic University of Peru. “Across the world, the discoveries of textiles of this age are much rarer than any precious metal.” Read more.