If archaeologists have taught us anything, it's that the deeper we dig, the more we discover. The most recent finding is a 60-acre pre-Hispanic burial site that has been unearthed in Peru, and it's got quite a story to tell...
"We have discovered an archaeological site of the Wari period with an antiquity of between 800 to 1000 years CE," Japanese archaeologist Shinya Watanabe revealed to AFP. The team of Peruvian and Japanese archaeologists that stumbled upon the ancient site reported that it contained the mummified remains of an adult human, two ceramic vessels, and textiles. However, the more artifacts these researchers dug up, the clearer it became to them that the site had even more significance than they'd initially believed. Besides being a graveyard, it also appears to have served as a place of worship for individuals of that time.
Each of the two chambers found within the burial site consisted of two levels, with five niches built into the walls of each room. In these niches were mollusk shells, ceramic fragments, and other significant artifacts. "It is a great find because the archaeologists were looking for evidence of the Wari culture," said Watanabe, who also works as a professor at Nanzan University in Japan. "Many people of multiple origins lived here. It was a ceremonial center dedicated to the cult of the ancestors." The Wari culture, which existed in the region we now call Peru, is known to have thrived between the 7th and 13th centuries. However, they were ultimately conquered by the Inca empire, which was on the rise at the time.
The discovery was made in the Jequetepeque valley in the province of San Miguel in Cajamarca, a territory that borders Ecuador. According to the Ministry of Culture, the main goal of the research had been to learn more about the socio-political system of the Cajamarca culture and its relationship with the Wari culture between the years 900 to 1000 CE. Judith Padilla, head of Cajamarca's culture office, expressed that the team's findings helped researchers better understand "the lifestyle and ritual practices" that were common among ancient societies in the region. Be sure to stay tuned for more historical discoveries!