Ancient site may re-write Peru history

2011-02-25 13:34
Lima - Archaeologists have discovered a group of ancient tombs in the mountainous jungle of south-eastern Peru they say is as important as the discovery of the lost city of Machu Picchu.

The tombs belonging to the Wari culture were found on the jungle-covered eastern slope of the Andes in Cuzco department at a long-abandoned city thought to be the last redoubt of Inca resistance to Spanish colonial rule.

The Waris, a pre-Inca civilisation, had an enormous cultural impact in the Andean region between 600 and 1200. The Inca empire (around 1400 to 1532) was the largest pre-Columbian empire in the Americas.

"It is an impressive Wari find in the Cuzco jungle that opens a new chapter on archaeological research and forces us to re-write history," said Juan Garcia, the cultural director for the Cuzco region, as he announced the discovery late on Wednesday.

"The discovery is one of the most important ever, and is comparable to Machu Picchu... and the Lord of Sipan," said Garcia, referring to the 1987 discovery of the tomb of an ancient Moche lord.

Last refuge

Archaeologists found a Y-shaped silver chest plate, a silver mask, two golden bracelets with feline figures and two wooden walking sticks laminated with silver in the tomb of a high-ranking personality dubbed the Lord of Wari.

The tombs are within the archaeological complex of Espiritu Pampa, in the Cuzco district of Vilcabamba, some 1 100km south-east of Lima.

Vilcabamba was the last refuge of Inca resistance after Spanish conquistadors captured and executed the Inca emperor in 1532. The last resistance leader, Tupac Amaru I, was captured by the Spaniards after fleeing the site and executed in 1572.

It is a "spectacular, truly surprising" discovery, said archaeologist Luis Lumbreras, former director of the National Cultural Institute (INC).

"This will make us revise part of Inca history."

It is the first proof of Wari presence in the jungle, and proof that the Waris were in the area much earlier than the Incas, Lumbreras said.

Archaeologists first found the funeral complex in July 2010, and studied it for months.

Lost city

Lumbreras said he would not be surprised that archaeologists now uncover a Wari city in the area "that may have something to do with legends like that of Paititi".

For centuries, explorers have fruitlessly searched for Paititi, a fabled lost city in the Amazon jungle said to be filled with gold and jewels.

The pre-Columbian civilisations in the Americas left no written record of their history, so it is largely up to archaeologists to describe history before the European contact.

In places like Peru, ancient sites have been well preserved in the dry coastal region and in the Andes, but bones and textiles rarely survive the wet and humid conditions of the jungle.
- SAPA
Read more on:    archaeology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.