Peru

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Peru: Ancient Peruvian Popcorn

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 […]

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu: Cradle of Gold

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.

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Inca civilisation founded on llama dung

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 […]

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Machu Picchu: Artefacts Returned

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 […]

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Inca ancestors’ stones found in Andes

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 […]

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu symbolises the extent, technical skill, and productivity of the Inca Empire in its heyday.

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Incas under fire

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 […]

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Tombs of the Lords of Sipan

CWA investigates the unplundered tombs of the Moche culture ‘Lords of Sipan’, who were buried with dazzling splendour in the early centuries AD

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The Moche Route

Second part of the Peru Special – the Moche Route of the Northern coast in more depth

My old trowel.

More than Moche

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 […]

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