Archaeological sites that take years to record using traditional methods could be mapped in minutes, according to new research by Vanderbilt University. At Mawchu Llacta, a 16th-century colonial town in Peru, scientists are testing a remote-controlled flying device called SUAVe (Semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), which is small enough to fit in a backpack and takes [...]
By Melissa A Vogel University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037967 This is the first English-language work on the Casma, a pre-Inca culture that has received little academic attention to-date – something that Melissa Vogel sets out to redress. Focusing on the northernmost part of the polity, Vogel discusses a pivotal period, AD 900-1300, [...]
The discovery of an intact Moche royal tomb was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. A gang of impoverished local looters entered one of three pyramids at Huaca Rajada, Sipan, a major Moche site near the Peruvian coast.
Why were the bodies of a dozen newborn babies placed around the edge of a 1,000-year-old tomb?
Tiffiny A. Tung University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037677 Between AD 600-1000, the Wari Empire represented one of the first politically centralised states in the New World. This study reveals the biological and social impact of the military aggression on which this power was founded, with groundbreaking DNA and osteological data shedding light on [...]
The discovery of a 13th-century priestess at a ritual site in northern Peru is forcing a reassessment of the role of women in Lambayeque culture. The 25- to 30-year-old woman was buried at Chotuna-Chornancap, adorned with elaborate jewellery, ceramic offerings, and gold and silver ritual objects proclaiming her elite status. ‘This has revolutionised our thinking,’ [...]
The oldest corncobs unearthed in South America have been found in Peru. Dating to 6,700 years ago – at least 2,000 years older than previous finds of cobs – they were eaten by people who were yet to enjoy the convenience of ceramic pottery. According to a report in The Proceedings of the National Academy [...]
Exactly 100 years ago, the explorer Hiram Bingham found Machu Picchu on the eastern slopes of Peru’s soaring Andes mountains. He was not the first to see it since the Incas left centuries before: local farmers were living on the land, and the site appeared on several maps – including that published in 1910 by Inca expert Sir Clements Markham. But he was the first to bring it to the attention of the world. Historian and author Christopher Heaney recounts the events of Hiram Bingham’s expedition that reclaimed Machu Picchu from the jungle.
The fact that llamas defecate communally so that their dung is easily gathered underpins the cultural achievement of the Inca civilisation and leads directly to the construction of Machu Picchu, says Alex Chepstow-Lusty, a British palaeoecologist working at the French Institute of Andean Studies in Lima. Chepstow-Lusty has studied pollens and oribatid mites from the [...]
The 100th anniversary of the ‘rediscovery’ of Machu Picchu in July 1911 has been marked by the return to Peru of some of the finest of the artefacts excavated from the ancient Inca ruins. They will be housed in a new museum and research centre at the University of Cusco. Dubbed the ‘Lost City of [...]
A team of archaeologists, working Peruvian Andes, has hailed as ‘sensational’ the discovery of three ‘ancestor stones’ on an isolated Andean mountainside. For the Inca, such ancestor stones were more precious than gold, and imbued with supreme symbolic significance as representing deities, ancestors, and the sun. No examples of the stones were believed to have [...]
Machu Picchu symbolises the extent, technical skill, and productivity of the Inca Empire in its heyday.
Human remains unearthed in Lima, capital of Peru, have yielded the first direct evidence of Inca deaths caused by Spanish conquerors around 500 years ago, says Melissa Murphy of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In a report on Violence and weapon-related trauma at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Professor [...]
CWA investigates the unplundered tombs of the Moche culture ‘Lords of Sipan’, who were buried with dazzling splendour in the early centuries AD
Second part of the Peru Special – the Moche Route of the Northern coast in more depth
There is a range of other must-see sites on the Northern coastal ‘Moche Route’ that date from before and after the Moche period. Among the gems is the ancient huaca of Cerro Ventarron, which neighbours the Lords of Sipan site, excavated by Walter Alva. At Cerro Ventarron, Walter’s son, Ignatius Alva, is working his father’s [...]
4000 year old jewllery found at Jiskairumoko, near lake Titicaca
A 1st millenium AD iron mine has been discovered in the Ingenio Valley, southern Peru
Brian Fagan’s latest column reporting on all things archaeological