Category Archives: PERU

Human spines on sticks found in 500-year-old graves in Peru

Human spines on sticks found in 500-year-old graves in Peru

Human spines on sticks found in 500-year-old graves in Peru
Examples of vertebrae on posts, found in Peru’s Chincha Valley.

Hundreds of years ago, Indigenous people in coastal Peru may have collected the scattered remains of their dead from desecrated graves and threaded reed posts through the spinal bones. Scientists recently counted nearly 200 of these bone-threaded posts in stone tombs in Peru’s Chincha Valley, and they suspect that the practice arose as a means of reassembling remains after the Spanish had looted and desecrated Indigenous graves.  

Archaeologists investigated 664 graves in a 15-square-mile (40 square kilometres) zone that contained 44 mortuary sites. They documented 192 examples of posts threaded with vertebrae.

The researchers then measured the amount of radioactive carbon in the bones and reed posts. Radioactive carbon accumulates when an organism is alive but decays to nitrogen at a constant rate once the organism is dead. So based on the amount of this carbon, the scientists could estimate when the posts were assembled.

Their analysis placed the vertebrae and posts between A.D. 1450 and 1650 — a time when the Inca Empire was crumbling and European colonizers were consolidating power, the researchers wrote in a new study.

This was a period of upheaval and crisis in which Indigenous tombs were frequently desecrated by the Spanish, and Chincha people may have revisited looted tombs and threaded spinal bones on reeds in order to reconstruct disturbed burials, said lead study author Jacob Bongers, a senior research associate of archaeology with the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

“The fact that there’s 192 of these and that they’re widespread — we find these throughout the Chincha Valley — it means on one level that multiple groups of people coordinated and responded in a shared way, that this interesting practice was deemed the appropriate way of dealing with disturbed bodies of the dead,” Bongers told Live Science.

Most of the vertebrae on posts were found in and around large and elaborate stone tombs, called chullpas, that typically held multiple burials; in fact, one chullpa contained remains from hundreds of people, Bongers said.

The people who performed the burials were part of the Chincha Kingdom, “a wealthy, centralized society that dominated Chincha Valley during the Late Intermediate period, which is the period that precedes the Incan Empire,” Bongers explained.

In one of the chullpas, threaded vertebrae were inserted into a cranium.

The Chincha Kingdom once had a population numbering around 30,000, and it thrived from around A.D. 1000 to 1400, eventually merging with the Inca Empire toward the end of the 15th century. But after the Europeans arrived and brought famines and epidemics, Chincha numbers plummeted to just 979 heads of household in 1583, according to the study.

Historic documents record accounts of Spaniards frequently looting Chincha graves across the valley, stealing gold and valuable artefacts, and destroying or desecrating remains.

For the new study, the researchers closely examined 79 bone-threaded posts, each of which represented a collection of spinal bones from an adult or from a child.

Most posts held bones belonging to a single individual, but the spines were incomplete, with most of the bones disconnected and out of order. This suggested that the threading was not performed as a part of the original burial. Rather, someone gathered and threaded the spinal vertebrae after the bodies had decomposed — and perhaps after some of the bones were lost to looting, the study authors reported.

Two chullpas in the middle of Chincha Valley.

And because Andean cultures valued preserving the integrity and completeness of a dead body, the likeliest explanation is that Chincha people revisited looted graves and reconstructed the scattered remains in this way to try and restore some semblance of wholeness to remains that had been dispersed and desecrated.

“When you look at all data we gathered, all of that supports the model that these were made after these tombs had been looted,” Bongers said.

Ancient mortuary practices, such as this bone threading, provide valuable clues about how long-ago communities dealt with their dead, but they also shed light on how people defined their identities and culture through their relationships with the dead, Bongers told Live Science.

“Mortuary practices arguably are what make us human — this is one of the key distinguishing features of our species. So, by documenting mortuary practices, we’re learning diverse ways of how people showcased their humanity.”

The findings were published on Feb. 2 in the journal Antiquity.

Gold and silver treasures were discovered with ‘elite craftspeople’ burials near the powerful Wari queen’s tomb

Gold and silver treasures were discovered with ‘elite craftspeople’ burials near the powerful Wari queen’s tomb

Archaeologists excavating a necropolis north of Lima have unearthed a 1,300-year-old ornate tomb from the Wari era of Peru. The tomb contains the remains of a high-status man dubbed the “Lord of Huarmey.” 

Gold and silver treasures were discovered with 'elite craftspeople' burials near the powerful Wari queen's tomb
The tomb includes the shrouded remains of an elite male, dubbed the “Lord of Huarmey,” and six other people, some of whom may have first been buried elsewhere and brought to the tomb later.

The remains of six other people were found in the same tomb, some of which were likely reinterred after first being buried elsewhere. The remains include four adults — possibly two males and two females — and three people who may be adolescents, according to the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Archaeology.

All the remains in the tomb were buried with gold and silver jewellery, bronze tools, knives, axes, baskets, woven textiles, raw materials for basketry, and wood and leather items — an abundance of objects that makes archaeologists think the people buried there were skilled craftspeople, as well as members of the Wari elite.

“We could call this part of the royal necropolis ‘The Gallery of Elite Craftsmen,'” Miłosz Giersz, an archaeologist at the University of Warsaw in Poland who leads the project, told Live Science in an email. “For the first time, we have found the burials of male Wari elite, who were also fine craftsmen and artists.”

Giersz’s team discovered the latest tomb in February at the Wari necropolis near the modern coastal town of Huarmey, in the Ancash region about 155 miles (250 kilometres) north of Lima. It lies just a short distance from a larger tomb, discovered in 2012 by Giersz and his wife Patrycja Prządka-Giersz, an assistant professor at the University of Warsaw. This larger tomb contained the remains of three high-status women deemed to be “Wari queens,” as Live Science previously reported.

The queens were buried alongside the remains of 58 other people. Most of the individuals were noblewomen who may have been interred later, but some were from lower social classes and seem to have been sacrificed. 

The latest tomb was discovered in February beneath a larger tomb attributed to Wari “queens,” found ten years ago at the Castillo de Huarmey archaeological site in Peru.

Andean empire

The Wari people lived in towns in the mountains and coast of what’s now Peru from about A.D. 500 to 1000. They are famed for their rich tradition of artwork, including gold and silver jewellery, painted pottery(opens in new tab) and vivid woven textiles.

The Wari Empire existed at roughly the same time as the Tiwanaku Empire farther south, and the two Andean states were often rivals, according to a 2003 article by archaeologists at Chicago’s Field Museum(opens in new tab). But both the Wari and the Tiwanaku empires had collapsed by the time the Inca Empire arose in much the same regions after about A.D. 1200.

The site near modern-day Huarmey features a pyramidal structure known as “El Castillo de Huarmey” — meaning the castle of Huarmey. Researchers have known about the structure since at least the 1940s, but many thought it was largely empty due to grave robbers who had already looted its gold and silver.

Many ornate artefacts in various stages of completion were found in the tomb, including this ear ornament made with gold and inlaid with semiprecious stones.

But the excavations in 2012 and 2013 by Giersz and Prządka-Giersz revealed it was an ancient Wari necropolis with at least one untouched tomb.

The subsequent excavation of the tomb of the Wari queens revealed that Castillo de Huarmey had once been “a large Wari mausoleum and site of ancestor worship on the Peruvian North Coast, an area that lies on the borders of the world controlled by the first Andean empire,” Giersz said.

The team also unearthed more than 1,300 artefacts that had been buried as grave gifts in the tomb of the Wari queens, including rich objects made of gold, silver, bronze, precious gems, wood, bone and shells, he said.

These silver ornaments, known as ear spools, were among the grave goods interred in the tomb of the seven people who were buried there about 1,300 years ago.

Wari tomb

Giersz thinks the “Lord of Huarmey” and the other people buried in the newly found tomb may have been members of the Wari elite and highly skilled craftspeople.

“The golden and silver artefacts deposited with them support this assumption,” he said. “Both men and women buried in the royal necropolis at Castillo de Huarmey were directly connected with the highest level of craft production and made the finest luxury goods of their era.”

As well as an elite necropolis, the finds show that Castillo de Huarmey was an important administrative centre of the Wari Empire, he said: “A place of production of the finest handicrafts in the domain, especially exclusive clothing… metal ornaments, and jewellery.”

This decoration for a headdress, made of gold, was found in one of the graves in the tomb. Archaeologists think such finds may signify that only elite craftspeople were buried there
University of Warsaw archaeologist Miłosz Giersz and his colleagues have been working at the Castillo de Huarmey site in northern Peru for more than 10 years.

Archaeologist Justin Jennings of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto was not involved in the latest study, but he has excavated other Wari sites in Peru.

He called the latest discoveries “spectacular,” but cautioned that the function of the Castillo de Huarmey site during the Wari era isn’t well understood. It may be that the people buried there were not elite craftspeople, as Giersz has proposed.

“These are wonderful pieces, and it’s so nice to have these associated with the graves,” Jennings said. But “the dead don’t get to choose what goes into their tombs — their grave goods can reflect what they did in life, but they could also very much reflect other types of messages.”

He noted, however, that the upper classes of ancient American societies were often also elite craftspeople, most famously the later Maya in Mesoamerica. “The Maya elite spent a lot of their time making elite goods, so it’s certainly not out of the ordinary,” Jennings said. 

The inclusion in the grave goods of unfinished objects was also notable, he said. “I think that does lend some credence to the idea that some of these individuals were involved in the production of things.”

An archaeological discovery in Peru: 76 graves of sacrificed children found in Huanchaco

An archaeological discovery in Peru: 76 graves of sacrificed children found in Huanchaco

A new archaeological find has been reported in the Huanchaco district in the province of Trujillo. An additional 76 graves of sacrificed children were discovered, thus totalling six child sacrificial events in more than 450 years.

The graves were unearthed at Pampa La Cruz archaeological site, located in the Huanchaco district. 

The head of the Huanchaco Archaeological Program (Pahuan), Gabriel Prieto, reported that the results of the 80 radiocarbon dating analyses carried out on the evidence found so far led us to conclude this thesis.

In addition, there were six sacrificial events, dating from between 1050 and 1500 AD, associated with important moments in the beginning, development, and consolidation of the Chimu society.

Prieto, who was born in Huanchaco, told the Andina news agency that 76 new children’s graves were discovered in the last excavation process carried out between July and August this year.

Out of that total, 25 graves were found in Mound I and the other 51 were uncovered in Mound II.

To date, the remains of 302 minors have been unearthed in said area.

An archaeological discovery in Peru: 76 graves of sacrificed children found in Huanchaco

The most unusual tomb was found in Mound I: It belonged to five women sitting head to head in a sort of circle. The analysis will determine its meaning.

Time periods and burials

The archaeologist, who is also a researcher at the University of Florida in the United States, pointed out that the earliest sacrificial event occurred between about 1050 and 1100, until 1200 AD, and was found in Mound I.

In this area, the children have something in common: their bodies are placed with their feet towards the east and their heads towards the west; that is, they turn their backs on the sea —a pattern that is repeated in all the bodies dating to that time.

Rock Art Discovered Near Machu Picchu

Rock Art Discovered Near Machu Picchu

Archaeologists from the Decentralized Culture Directorate in Cusco (DDC Cusco) have discovered samples of cave art in a sector of the Qhapaq Ñan or Great Inca Trail that crosses the Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu in Peru.

This information was provided by Francisco Huarcaya, the person responsible for the sector of the Inca Trail that crosses the aforementioned park.

Huarcaya reported that said discovery occurred in early September this year at the 87th kilometre of the railway that leads to the Inca citadel, on the left side of the Vilcanota River.

Said samples consist of a set of images painted on different parts of a huge rock and represent figures of camelids and the sun  —the most important deity for the Inca civilization. 

Abstract graphics and other graphics with geometric shapes have been identified as well. 

“There are other images that cannot be identified due to geological problems and rock wear caused by long exposure to sun, wind, rain, and water filtration,” he noted.

The archaeologist explained that this cave art was associated with a funerary context and the cult of the apus (guardian deities in the form of mountains), such as the Huacayhuilca and Casamentuyoc mountains, as well as the Huilcamayo River —considered sacred and located near the area.

In addition to said evidence of cave art, archaeologists found human bones of a skull and a femur, which were exposed to the surface and partially covered by brush.

Possible Priest’s Grave Discovered at Pacopampa

Possible Priest’s Grave Discovered at Pacopampa

A team of archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the tomb of a religious leader from ancient Peru at the Pacopampa site, a priestly figure, who was baptized as the “priest of the pututos,” or the priest of the shell trumpets.

The Pacopampa priest’s tomb remains have been dated to around 1000 BC. He was buried with musical instruments and an assortment of exotic objects.

Pacopampa is located in the province of Chota in the larger Cajamarca region. The tomb was located in the “La Capilla” building, and the man in the Pacopampa priest’s tomb was between 25 and 35 years of age, as reported by Agency Andina. Two other tombs have also been previously found at the site: the Lady of Pacopampa, who died in 750 BC (discovered in 2009), and the Serpent Jaguar Priest, from 700 BC (uncovered in 2015).

The National University of San Marcos and the Ethnographic Museum of Japan team, pictured here, that discovered the Pacopampa priest’s tomb has been working at the site since 2005.

The Pacopampa Priest’s Tomb: Uncovering a Tomb Full of Riches

The Peruvian National University of San Marcos and the Ethnographic Museum of Japan have been working on the Pacopampa site continuously since 2005.

Together, this team has undertaken numerous research projects within the framework of the International Cooperation Agreement on Research and Development, signed between both countries in 1988.

The Pacopampa priest’s tomb had been sealed with a huge rock that weighed more than half a ton (1,100 pounds). Inside, the team found offerings, votive deposits, trousseaus of exotic objects, seashell necklaces, malachite beads, and semi-precious stone earmuffs. And they also found pututos or shell trumpets.

Pututos were used as instruments in rituals and ceremonies. Ancient pututos were made from seashells imported from northern seaside settlements, including Tumbes and Guayaquil.

In a report, the archaeologists have argued that the Pacopampa shell trumpets are older than the ones found in Kuntur Wasi in Cajamarca, and Chavin de Huantar in Ancash.

“The burial is also associated with the Strombus snail that you don’t find in the Peruvian sea but in the Ecuadorian one. They were brought from a faraway place, it could mean this person had a quite important religious power back then,” said Yuji Seki, one of the directors of the Pacopampa Archaeological Project, to Reuters. The team has also shared the Pacopampa priest’s tomb finds on their Twitter account.

The original state of the Pacopampa priest’s tomb when it was first opened and before it was “cleaned up.”

The Pacopampa Archaeological Complex and a New Museum

The Pacopampa Archaeological Complex was a large ceremonial centre made with carved and polished stone. There are 12 archaeological sites within the complex, including La Capilla and El Mirador. In 2009, the tomb of a 30–40-year-old woman, “La Dama de Pacopampa” (The Dame of Pacopampa), was discovered at the site, she was believed to be a woman of power in the local community.

In 2012, five more tombs were discovered that were dated to roughly 2,900 years ago.

The first occupation at the Pacopampa Archaeological Complex dates to the beginning of the Middle Formative Period (1200 BC onwards). Historical records indicate a constant stream of construction right up until 500 BC. The temperate climate and fertile soils, along with ready access to the Chotano River provided this flourishing civilization with an abundance of corn, beans, squash, and yacon.

Roxana Judith Padilla Malca, director of the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cajamarca, is the head of the complex. She has highlighted the work of the Japanese and Peruvian researchers. The archaeological complex is widely believed to be the most extensive and important one in the Sierra Norte region of Peru.

Further digging has been approved by the Ministry of Culture for the 2022 season, under the supervision of archaeologist Francisco Esquerre, representatives of the Cajamarca Decentralized Directorate of Culture announced.

There are plans now to construct a site museum, which the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has promised to finance. The facility will showcase the work of this international research team and give the public a chance to see the treasures of ancient northern Peru.

Ancient Hidden City Discovered Under Lake Titicaca

Ancient Hidden City Discovered Under Lake Titicaca

Five minutes away from the town of Tiquina, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, archaeologists found the remains of an ancient civilization under the waters of the lake.

The find was made 10 years ago, by Christophe Delaere, an archaeologist from the Free University of Belgium, by following information provided by the locals. 24 submerged archaeological sites have been identified under the lake, according to the BBC.

The most significant of these sites is Santiago de Ojjelaya, and the Bolivian government has recently agreed to build a museum there to preserve both the underwater structures and those which are on land.

Lake Titicaca.

The project is supposed to be finished in 2020 and will cost an estimated $10 million. The Bolivian government is funding the project with help from UNESCO and is backed by the Belgian development cooperation agency.

The proposed building will have two parts and cover an area of about 2.3 acres (9,360 square meters). One part of the museum will be on the shore, and it will display artefacts that have been raised from the lake bottom. The second part will be partially submerged, with enormous glass walls that will look out under the lake, allowing visitors to see the “hidden city” below.

Old pottery from Tiwanaku at the Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem.

According to the Bolivia Travel Channel, the museum will facilitate the beginning of an archaeological tourism enterprise, which “will be a resort and archaeology research centre, geology and biology, characteristics that typified it unique in the world [sic],” according to Wilma Alanoca Mamani, holder of the portfolio of the Plurinational State.

Christophe Delaere said that the building’s design incorporates elements of architecture used by the Andean cultures who inhabited the area.

Jose Luis Paz, who is the director of heritage for Bolivia’s Ministry of Culture, says that two types of underwater ruins will be visible when the building is complete: religious/spiritual offering sites, primarily underwater, and places where people lived and worked, which were primarily on the shoreline. He went on to say that the spiritual sites were likely flooded much later than the settlements.

Chullpas from Tiwanaku epoch.

A team of archaeological divers and Bolivian and Belgian experts have located thousands of items in the underwater sites. Some of these pieces will be brought up, but the majority will remain underwater as they are quite well-preserved.

Wilma Mamani said that more than 10,000 items have been found including gold and ceramic pieces and various kinds of bowls and other vessels.

The items are of pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilizations. Some of the artefacts have been estimated to be 2,000 years old, and others have been dated back to when the Tiwanaku empire was one of the primary Andean civilizations.

Gateway of the Sun, Tiwanaku, drawn by Ephraim Squier in 1877.

Tiwanaku was a major civilization in Bolivia, with the main city built around 13,000 feet above sea level, near Lake Titicaca, which made it one of the highest urban centres ever built.

The city reached its zenith between 500 AD and 1000 AD, and, at its height, was home to about 10,000 people. It’s unclear exactly when the civilization took hold, but it is known that people started settling around Lake Titicaca about 2,000 BC.

The Gateway of the Sun from the Tiwanaku civilization in Bolivia.

According to Live Science, the city’s ancient name is unknown, since they never developed a written language, but archaeological evidence suggests that Tiwanaku cultural influence reached across the southern Andes, into Argentina, Peru, and Chile, as well as Bolivia.

Tiwanaku began to decline around 1,000 AD, and the city was eventually abandoned. Even when it fell out of use, it stayed an important place in the mythology of the Andean people, who viewed it as a religious site.

Besides the obvious benefits of being able to study and share the artefacts of ancient civilizations, the project has another benefit as well. Most of the people who currently live in the area make they’re living in agriculture or fishing.

This project brings the possibility of new jobs for local residents, which can keep people from leaving the area due to a lack of opportunities, helping revitalize local communities.

Are the ‘Chachapoya Clouds Warriors’ of ancient Peru descendants of Europeans?

Are the ‘Chachapoya Clouds Warriors’ of ancient Peru descendants of Europeans?

At 4,000 km upriver you reach the foothills of the Andes in Peru, and there lived the people of the Chachapoya, also called “The Warriors of the Clouds.”

Are the ‘Chachapoya Clouds Warriors’ of ancient Peru descendants of Europeans?
The painted Clouds Warriors’ sarcophagi of Carajia. Mummies of famed warriors were entombed inside of the sarcophagi and placed on cliffs, with the skulls of their enemies placed on top.

There is little first-hand or contrasting knowledge of the Chachapoyas. Much of what we do know about the Chachapoyas culture is based on archaeological evidence from ruins, pottery, tombs, and other artefacts.

One of the most populous Chachapoya cities is 3,000 metres high and shows that its inhabitants were great builders and probably ruled a vast empire.

Radiocarbon (Carbon-14) analyses date most of the construction to around 800 AD, except for the main entrance dating back to 500 AD.

Kuelap is an archaeological site in northern Peru about two hours from Chachapoyas. At about 3,000 meters high, it is where the higher class of the Chachapoya civilization resided starting over a thousand years ago.

In all of America, there are no similar constructions, but there are similar ones among the Celtic peoples of Europe, especially in ancient Celtic settlements in Galicia. Some Chachapoya skulls show evidence that trepanations have been performed on them, which patients have survived. This surgical practice was already known in the Mediterranean where it is described around 500 BC, and trepanned Celtic skulls have been found in Austrian sites.

The kingdom of the Chachapoya was in eastern Peru, far from the area of ​​influence of the Inca Empire. Although their burials used to take place inside homes, a custom shared with the Celts, they also made burials on the cliffs of steep cliffs, and they have left paintings of people with complex and spectacular headdresses. The Celts also represented their gods with similar headdresses.

Celtic warriors on the chariot (illustration).

The climate of the area brings very frequent storms that cause landslides capable of burying the cities that were in the valleys, for that reason the Chachapoyas chose to build on the tops of the mountains.

During torrential rains, a burial at 2,800 m was discovered and archaeologists were able to recover more than 200 mummies that had survived the storms and looting.

Analysis of the bones has revealed that many Chachapoyas suffered from diseases such as tuberculosis, which had always been thought to have been introduced into America by the Spanish after the Discovery, but this shows that the Chachapoyas already suffered from it many centuries before. This led me to think that the Chachapoyas were descendants of a European people that arrived in America many centuries before Columbus.

And it was a warrior people, many skeletons show that they died from skull fractures and violent deaths. And their most common weapons to attack from a distance were slings, very different from those found in the Inca part of Peru but very similar to the Celtic slings of the Balearic Islands.

Drawing of a Balearic slinger. He wears a spare sling as a headband and a bag of missiles.

A Balearic slinger, world champion in sling shooting, examines a Chachapoya sling and claims that they are practically identical to the traditional Balearic slingshots.

The Chachapoyas traits

Some descendants of the Chachapoyas retain physical features that differentiate them from other Amazonian or Inca tribes. They have lighter skin and many are blond or red-haired, contrasting with the copper complexion and black hair of the rest of the South American tribes. Some of the first Spanish explorers already witnessed those differences that made the Chachapoyas more similar to Europeans than to South Americans.

Saliva samples from children with these physical characteristics have been analyzed at the Molecular Genetic Institute in Rotterdam. Although most of their genome is genuinely native South American, some incorporate between 10 and 50 per cent genes of Celtic origin, specifically from England and Galicia.

Are the Chachapoyas descendants of Celtic tribes embarked on Carthaginian ships that crossed the Atlantic when fleeing the Roman army?

Despite several indications that point to this possibility, the truth is that there is no conclusive evidence. Perhaps new archaeological or genetic studies will confirm this, but some archaeologists and scholars of the Chachapoyas are already convinced of it.

Burials Discovered in Peru’s Vichama Archaeological Complex

Burials Discovered in Peru’s Vichama Archaeological Complex

Funerary complexes

At Vichama Archaeological Complex work has resumed. As a result, funerary complexes and various objects have been found. Similarly, a structure was located that might have served as a home.

Alexander Zuñiga, an archaeologist who works on this project led by Dr. Ruth Shady, explained that some searches were carried out near the monumental area. They were lucky in some of them and discovered funerary contexts.

The specialist indicated that there was no pattern in the position in which the ancient inhabitants of Vichama used to be buried.

Likewise, he noted that some offerings were found with these bundles. The most striking ones were two toads.

Between the valley and the sea

The archaeologist stated that among the rescued pieces there were tools for working cotton and objects made with the remains of molluscs or other marine animals.

This fact is not accidental. Vichama is close to the sea. A considerable percentage of the population of what is now Vegueta lives from fishing activities.

It is also close to the Huaura Valley.

Snakes and toads

The archaeologist explained that, at the time that Vichama was occupied, some beliefs were changing. For example, in later times the buildings were arranged facing the valley and the walls were decorated with toad figures.

In earlier stages, these buildings faced north and had other types of decoration. In some high reliefs, figures of humans, snakes, and fish are seen.

These will also be seen by the public next weekend on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of this archaeological project.

Archaeologist Zuñiga pointed out that the oldest pieces found and dated in Vichama are 3,800 years old. 

Nonetheless, there is evidence that there are older constructions. The constant, so far, are the sunken circular squares of the Caral Culture.