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Ancient astronomical symbols in Peru

Archaeologists find stone engraved with 3,500-year-old astronomical symbols in Peru

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Archaeologists in Peru made a remarkable discovery when they found what they believe is a stone altar containing ancient petroglyphs dating back to 3,500 to 4,000 years ago, according to a news report in Andina. Researchers said the engravings were used to track stars and therefore to forecast rain fall.

The discovery was made at the archaeological complex of Licurnique, located four hours from Olmos district in Peru’s northern region of Lambayeque. The Lambayeque region is known for its archaeological finds and rich Moche and Chimú historical past. The name Lambayeque is a Spanish derivation of the god Yampellec, said to have been worshipped by the first Lambayeque king, Naymlap.

According to ancient legend, a great float of balsa rafts arrived at the beaches of the existing San José cove. Formed by a brilliant cortège of nine foreign warriors, this float was led by a man of great talent and courage, named Naymlap, the mythical founder of the first northwest civilization. Among the descendants of Naymlap were the Moche, the Wari', and the Chimú peoples.

A representation of Naymlap

A representation of Naymlap. Photo source.

Researchers Juan Martinez and Manuel Curo explained that the Licurnique archaeological site is unique because it combines prehistoric, Hispanic, and Andean influences. According to the report in Andina: “archaeologists found a petroglyph that consists of a lithic altar, an expression of religious superposition. It details and provides an understanding of Licurnique’s inhabitants.” 

Although the archaeologists have not detailed the method they used to date the petroglyphs to the 4 th millennium BC, they said that the astronomical functions that were engraved on the rock has successfully stood the test of time.

Astronomical petroglyphs in Peru

The stone found with astronomical petroglyphs. Credit: Andina

Andina added that “astronomical observatories were engraved on a flat-surface rock, which were used to track stars and therefore to forecast rain fall for crops and human consumption.”

Featured image: Peruvian archaeologists found carvings that depict the stars and have lasted thousands of years. Photo: Silvia Depaz/Andina

By April Holloway



angieblackmon's picture

i'd like to know more about the symbols that were found and how they were used. what did they track in the night sky? what parts were important to them?

love, light and blessings


aprilholloway's picture


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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