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Chavin Culture

3,000-year-old religious sanctuary discovered in Peru

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During archaeological excavations in the Congona archaeological zone in Peru, archaeologists stumbled upon a sanctuary that predates the Incas and goes back to the Chavin culture. Researchers believe the sanctuary is associated with an Oracle of the Chavin era with subterranean structures and rooms reserved for the Chavin priests.

In the central part of the site two monoliths were found with inscriptions that are typical of the Chavin culture. Archaeologists first started excavating the Congona archaeological site in search for the ‘Lost temple’ that belonged to the Chavin in September.  The excavation was commissioned due to a previous discovery of two columns that were similar to the ones located in the famous temple at Chavin de Huantar in Ancash . It is possible that they have just found it.

The Congona archaeological site is famous for the well preserved houses, circular terraces and intricate decoration on the buildings including sophisticated masonry that belonged to the Chachapoyas culture, another pre-Incan civilization.

The Chavin Culture was one of the first major cultures in Peru, emerging  around 1200 BC in the Peruvian Andes. It was an organized culture with priests and an advance civilization. Their activities included hunting and fishing as well as agriculture. They had created methods for water irrigation of their farm areas as well as the houses and they were experts in metalwork. Unfortunately, although there have been some archaeological findings that belong to them, very little is actually known about their culture.

Further excavations at the site in Congona may lead to discoveries that will shed more light on the Chavin’s history and culture. No photos of the site of the ‘Oracle of Congona’ have been released yet. The photo depicted with this article are artefacts of the Chavin culture.

By John Black

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