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Burial site at Peru

Archaeologists discover burial site of unknown culture in Peru

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Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have discovered more than 150 ancient graves in the Atacama Desert belonging to a previously unknown culture in Peru, according to a report in PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland. The characteristics of the 4 th – 7 th century burials are not consistent with the practices of the Tiwanaku civilization, which flourished from 500 to 1000 AD and extended into present-day Peru and Chile, suggesting that the area had been inhabited by a farming community before the expansion of the Tiwanaku culture.

The graves were discovered in the Tambo River delta, in the northern part of the Atacama Desert. They had been dug in the sand without any stone structures and had been naturally preserved by the warm, dry conditions.

"These burials are of the virtually unknown people, who inhabited the area before the expansion of the Tiwanaku civilization. Items found in individual graves indicate that the people already had a clear social division," said Professor Józef Szykulski, leader of the research project.

The international research team made up of archaeologists from Poland, Peru, and Columbia, found numerous grave goods including large wooden helmets, maces with stone or copper finials, richly decorated weaving tools, many jewellery items, including objects made of copper and tumbaga (an alloy of gold and copper), reed withes that were attached to the ears of the dead, bows, and quivers with arrows tipped with obsidian heads.

“This is a very interesting find, because bows are a rarity in Peru," said Szykulski. “These objects and the bows were symbols of power, which proves that representatives of elite were buried here".

The bodies had been wrapped in mats, cotton burial shrouds, or nets, which suggests that one of the forms of activity of that culture was fishing.  Nearby, researchers also found the remains of a llama, which suggests that the animal had been brought to the region earlier than previously believed.

Along the Tambo River delta, archaeologists also found tombs of the Tiwanaku civilization, which reveals that the Tiwanaku people reached an area where they are not thought to have ventured. Taken together, the discovery adds important knowledge to the understanding of pre-Columbian civilizations in Peru.

Featured image: The mummies wrapped in burial shrouds and mats. One of the dead has a bow. Photo: Archives of the Tambo Project of the University of Wrocław.

By April Holloway



Is not this the site that investigated a Japanese team for several years to get a DNA sequence found similar genetic worldwide and only found in northern Chile, before Peruvian territory?

Then said the news from Japan that the research was conducted from 1985 to 2005; and, in Tarapaca, neighboring region of Atacama, the Japanese research team found a mummified remains, whose genetic traces revealed that, in life, these people suffered from a bad blood (if I recall), a rare type of leukemia, that only the Japanese have; and that, worldwide, only found in the mummies of Tarapaca, ancient Peru.

In addition, Japanese researchers said that these people, who were also fishermen, apparently some of them migrated to southern Peru and Bolivia today, in the highland region and gave their genetic contribution to the current populations of the highlands.

Could you clarify all this?

Unfortunately, I do not remember the names of Japanese researchers who made the monumental work of testing the DNA throughout the world, for 20 years, to unveil the genetic similarity only found among the pre-Inca mummified remains of fishermen about 3000 years ago.

All this is quite apart from that research carried out from 2005 to 2008, led by the physical anthropologist and expert on ancient DNA, the Japanese Ken-ichi Shinoda, and by Peruvian archaeologist Carlos Elera, director of the National Museum Sicán (Lambayeque), have found genetic links between the northern Peruvian coast (Lambayeque) and Japanese descendants of primitive ethnic Aina, who live in Hokhaido the northern island of the Japanese archipelago.

Thanks in advance

Dante Vasquez Alva


They had a clear social division, wow, what a relief, it means that they were "Civilized"

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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