Inca in the News ...

Inca Ritual Baths Fed by Waterfall Reveals More of Its Secrets   Live Science - February 22, 2019
Deep in Peru's Sacred Valley, a ceremonial Inca complex — complete with a stone altar and 14 baths — sits in a jungle clearing. And now, cutting-edge radar and laser scans, and on-the-ground excavations are revealing just how the Inca built and used these structures more than 500 years ago. The excavation is a thorough one; ground-penetrating radar detected the foundations of the complex, and billions of laser scans shot from an airborne drone revealed two previously unknown Inca structures hidden in the tropical forest.

19 humanlike wooden idols, 750-Year-Old, Some Wearing Masks, Uncovered in Peru   Live Science - October 27, 2018
Archaeologists have discovered 19 humanlike wooden idols, some of them wearing beige clay masks on their faces, in the ancient city of Chan Chan, Peru. The more than 750-year-old hand-carved idols stand nearly 28 inches (70 centimeters) tall, or about the height of two bowling-ball pins stacked on top of one another. The idols were discovered in rectangular recesses that line an adobe-made corridor. These idols are the oldest yet to be discovered at the Chan Chan archaeological complex in northern Peru, which was once the capital of the Chimú Kingdom, a culture that lasted from about A.D. 900 to 1430, when it fell to the Inca Empire.

Drone survey reveals dozens of previously undiscovered Nazca Lines depicting warriors and animals carved into Peru's landscape 1,800 years ago   Daily Mail - April 7, 2018

Archaeologists have discovered more than 50 mysterious new 'Nazca lines' in Peru, which were constructed nearly 2,000 years ago by ancient inhabitants who painstakingly arranged pebbles into massive shapes. Some are hundreds of years older than the most famous Nazca lines previously discovered. The researchers learned that while some of the geoglyphs were produced by Nazca people, others date back to a time before they lived in the region where the drawings can be found. The Nazca people lived in the area from 200 to 700 CE. Some of the designs are believed to be created instead by the Topara and Paracas people.

Ring-Shaped Geoglyphs Found Near Ancient Town in Peru   Live Science - September 23, 2016
Dozens of circular geoglyphs, some comprising several intertwined rings, have been identified and mapped near the ancient Peruvian town of Quilcapampa, revealing that these earthen designs were created near ancient pathways used for trade. Geoglyphs are designs, which often form shapes or images, on the landscape. They are found all over the world; the most famous examples are located at Nazca, where thousands of such designs - from real and imaginary creatures to geometric shapes - have been etched into the Peruvian desert. The newly mapped geoglyphs may have had symbolic significance, possibly representing the flow of people and goods through the town at the time.

Skeleton With Alien-Like Skull Found   Discovery - July 11, 2016
The specimen, found in Mexico, also had stone-encrusted teeth. Archaeologists in Mexico have unearthed the 1,600 year old skeleton of a woman with an elongated, "alien-like" skull and stone-encrusted teeth. Found at a town called San Juan Evangelista, near the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan some 30 miles from Mexico City, the skeleton belongs to an upper class woman who died at around 35-40 years of age. They estimate the burial dates between 350-400 AD.

Sechin Bajo, Peru: The Location of the Oldest Man-Made Structure of the New World?   Ancient Origins - May 8, 2016
Sechin Bajo is an archaeological site in Peru. This site is situated in the Casma Valley of Ancash, a region on the northwestern coast of that South American country. This site is believed to have served as the capital of a pre-Incan culture, and was occupied roughly between 1800 and 1900 BC.

Ancient Ruins Hint at Life for Regular Folks   Epoch Times - October 14, 2015
About 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacan - or Teo, as archaeologists call it - is the most visited archaeological ruin in the Western Hemisphere. David Carballo, an assistant professor of archaeology at Boston University has studied Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 1999, trying to learn how this ancient metropolis arose around the first century BCE and flourished for more than 600 years. He does this not by studying the grand pyramids and other remnants of Teo's elite, but by examining a group of working-class neighborhoods in a district called Tlajinga.

1,200-Year-Old Telephone, Amazing Invention of the Ancient Chimu Civilization   Epoch Times - September 21, 2015
The Peruvian telephone thought to have been made 1,200 to 1,400 years ago, a marvel of ancient invention, surprises almost all who hear about it. Found in the ruins of Chan Chan, Peru, the delicate communication artifact is known as the earliest example of telephone technology in the Western hemisphere. This seemingly out-of-place-artifact is evidence of the impressive innovation of the coastal Chimu people in the Río Moche Valley of northern Peru.

Inca Road: The ancient highway that created an empire   BBC - July 2, 2015
Do long-dead builders have the answer to more sustainable road development? A new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC shows why the Incan kingdom built a lasting infrastructure. The Inca Road is one of the most extraordinary feats of engineering in the world. By the 16th Century it had helped transform a tiny kingdom into the largest empire in the Western hemisphere. And to the envy of modern engineers, substantial parts of the 24,000-mile (39,000-km) network survive today, linking hundreds of communities throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Incredibly, it was constructed entirely by hand, without iron or wheeled transportation.

Fuente Magna, the Rosetta Stone of the Americas   Epoch Times - October 2, 2014

Ancient cranial surgery: bioarchaeologist studies trepanation   PhysOrg - December 20, 2013
Some 900 years ago, a Peruvian healer used a hand drill to make dozens of small holes in a patient's skull. Cranial surgery is tricky business, even under 21st-century conditions (think aseptic environment, specialized surgical instruments and copious amounts of pain medication both during and afterward). However, evidence shows that healers in Peru practiced trepanation—a surgical procedure that involves removing a section of the cranial vault using a hand drill or a scraping tool more than 1,000 years ago to treat a variety of ailments, from head injuries to heartsickness. And they did so without the benefit of the aforementioned medical advances. Excavating burial caves in the south-central Andean province of Andahuaylas in Peru, UC Santa Barbara bioarchaeologist Danielle Kurin and her research team unearthed the remains of 32 individuals that date back to the Late Intermediate Period (ca. AD 1000-1250). Among them, 45 separate trepanation procedures were in evidence.

Photos: Ancient Tomb of Chimu Nobles Found in Peru   National Geographic - December 3, 2013
Archaeologists working at the site of an ancient town in the coastal desert of northern Peru made a surprising discovery in late August - a multichamber tomb from the much later Chimu culture that held the remains of at least four noble musicians and weavers. Two human sacrifices, seen in this photo, accompanied the tomb's elite occupants into eternity. The site of Samanco spreads over some 75 acres in the Nepena River valley. Most of its ruins belong to a small trading community that flourished between 800 and 200 B.C. But amid the early stone structures, archaeologists uncovered a ten-foot-deep adobe shaft tomb dating to the 15th or 16th century A.D. At that time the Chimu were among the many conquered peoples who made up the vast Inca empire.

Developers destroy ancient Peru pyramid   BBC - July 4, 2013
Authorities in Peru say an ancient pyramid at the oldest archaeological site near the capital, Lima, has been destroyed. They are pressing criminal charges against two real-estate companies blamed for tearing down the structure, which was 6m (20-ft) high. An archaeologist said those responsible had committed "irreparable damage". The building was one of 12 pyramids found at the El Paraiso complex and is thought to be at least 4,000 years old. The site, which dates back to the Late Preceramic (3500-1800 BC) period, is situated several kilometres north of Lima. According to Peru's tourism ministry, it was a religious and administrative centre long before the pre-Columbian Inca civilization.

Glittering, unlooted 1,200-year-old royal tomb found in Peru   MSNBC - June 27, 2013
Images of winged beings adorn a pair of gold-and-silver ear ornaments that a high-ranking Wari woman wore to her grave. Archaeologists found the remains of 63 individuals, including three Wari queens, in the imperial tomb at El Castillo de Huarmey. Gold and silver riches from more than a millennium ago have been found in Peru, within what appears to be the first unlooted tomb of South America's Wari civilization, researchers reported Thursday. The dramatic find is being revealed at a news conference at the El Castillo de Huarmey archaeological site, 175 miles (280 kilometers) north of Lima.

Amazingly Untouched Royal Tomb Found in Peru   Live Science - June 27, 2013
A rare, undisturbed royal tomb has been unearthed in Peru, revealing the graves of three Wari queens buried alongside gold and silver riches and possible human sacrifices. Though the surrounding site has been looted many times, this mausoleum has managed to evade grave robbers for hundreds of years, archaeologists say. Long before the Inca built Machu Picchu, the Wari empire flourished between A.D. 700 and 1000 throughout much of present-day Peru. At a time when Paris had just 25,000 residents, the Wari capital Huari was home to 40,000 people at its height, according to National Geographic, which reported the find.

Stunning Astronomical Alignment Found at Peru Pyramid   Live Science - May 6, 2013
An ancient astronomical alignment in southern Peru has been discovered by researchers between a pyramid, two stone lines and the setting sun during the winter solstice. During the solstice, hundreds of years ago, the three would have lined up to frame the pyramid in light. The two stone lines, called geoglyphs, are located about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) east-southeast from the pyramid. They run for about 1,640 feet (500 meters), and researchers say the lines were "positioned in such a way as to frame the pyramid as one descended down the valley from the highlands."

Archaeologists have discovered a pyramid in southern Peru, built between 600 B.C. and 50 B.C. ago, would have aligned with two stone lines and the setting sun during the winter solstice. Here, a 3D model shows the event that happened at the Cerro del Gentil pyramid during the winter solstice. The two stone lines frame the pyramid with the sun setting directly behind it. This alignment may have had cosmological significance for the people who lived there. An ancient astronomical alignment in southern Peru has been discovered by researchers between a pyramid, two stone lines and the setting sun during the winter solstice. During the solstice, hundreds of years ago, the three would have lined up to frame the pyramid in light. The two stone lines, called geoglyphs, are located about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) east-southeast from the pyramid. They run for about 1,640 feet (500 meters), and researchers say the lines were "positioned in such a way as to frame the pyramid as one descended down the valley from the highlands." Using astronomical software and 3D modeling, the researchers determined that a remarkable event would have occurred during the time of the winter solstice. "When viewed in 3D models, these lines appear to converge at a point beyond the horizon and frame not only the site of Cerro del Gentil where the pyramid is, but also the setting sun during the time of the winter solstice," the research team wrote in a poster presentation given recently at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Honolulu.

Ancient Tomb Built to Flood - Sheds Light on Peru Water Cult?   National Geographic - September 8, 2012
Archaeologists in Peru thought they had discovered something special when they uncovered the tomb of a pre-Inca priestess and eight other corpses in 2011. But an even bigger find was right beneath their feet. Continuing their search for artifacts a year later, the team dug beneath the priestess, uncovering a basement tomb they believe was built by an ancient water cult and meant to flood.

Odd Pyramid Had Rooftop Homes, Ritual Sacrifices?   National Geographic - October 22, 2010
A newly excavated platform atop a pyramid at the Huaca Colorada site looks out on the Peruvian desert. it's yielded human remains - including five females who may have been ritually sacrificed. But it's the signs of life that make a half-excavated Peruvian pyramid of the Moche culture stand out, archaeologists say. Often these pyramidal mounds were built as mortuaries more than anything else. (See pictures from the tomb of the Moche "king of bling.") The newly exposed 1,400-year-old flat-topped pyramid supported residences for up to a couple dozen elites, who oversaw and perhaps took part in copper production at the site, evidence suggests. The pre-Inca pyramid dwellers likely presided over important rituals, feasted on roasted llama and guinea pig, and drank corn beer, according to archaeologists working at the site.

"Lost" Language Found on Back of 400-Year-Old Letter   National Geographic - August 27, 2010
Native Peruvian language rediscovered in remains of church. Notes on the back of a 400-year-old letter have revealed a previously unknown language once spoken by indigenous peoples of northern Peru, an archaeologist says. Penned by an unknown Spanish author and lost for four centuries, the battered piece of paper was pulled from the ruins of an ancient Spanish colonial church in 2008. But a team of scientists and linguists has only recently revealed the importance of the words written on the flip side of the letter.

"Unexpected" Male Found in Pre-Inca Tomb   National Geographic - September 19, 2009
A gilded mask, found affixed to the front of a coffin, was among the treasures recently uncovered at San Jose de Moro, a site in Peru that once served as a cemetery for the pre-Inca Moche society, archaeologists announced this week. The wooden coffin was unearthed earlier this year in the second room of a unique double-chambered tomb, which dates back to A.D. 850. Inside the coffin, the excavation team found a skeleton of a rattle-wielding elite male, a rare discovery at a site famous as the resting place for several powerful priestesses.

Ancient "King of Bling" Tomb Revealed in Peru   National Geographic - April 13, 2009
Packed with treasure in the styles of two ancient orders, the 1,500-year-old tomb of the Moche Indian "king of bling" is like no other, according to archaeologist Steve Bourget. Discovered in Peru at the base of an eroded mud-brick pyramid, the tomb gradually yielded its contents last summer. Among the finds: 19 golden headdresses, various pieces of jewelry, and two funerary masks, as well as skeletons of two other men and a pregnant woman. The tomb's mysterious contents and location far from known Moche capitals could shed new light on this little-known culture of Peru's arid northern coast. Thriving between A.D. 100 and 800, the highly agricultural Moche Indians are known in large part by their stepped pyramids, jewelry-filled tombs, and exquisite pottery and art.

Moche Culture

Human Trophy Heads Were No Strangers   Live Science - January 5, 2009
The ancient South American people who created the mysterious Nazca Lines - enormous etched images of everything from hummingbirds to orcas on the high Nazca Desert in Peru some 1,500 to 2,000 years ago, also happened to be regular collectors of human heads. Scientists have long wondered if the heads, suspended from woven cords as trophies, came from enemy cultures as the spoils of war, were used in fertility ceremonies, or had some other purpose.

Trophy heads reveal secrets about ancient South American Nazca civilization   PhysOrg - January 8, 2009
The Nasca civilization is perhaps best known for the drawings its people etched onto the desert floor in southwest Peru, a massive and mysterious body of simple and intricate works that span several hundred square miles.

   "Spider God" Religious Temple Found in Northern Peru National Geographic - October 29, 2008
A 3,000-year-old temple featuring an image of a spider god may hold clues to little-known cultures in ancient Peru. People of the Cupisnique culture, which thrived from roughly 1500 to 1000 B.C., built the temple in the Lambayeque valley on Peru's north coast. The adobe temple, found this summer and called Collud, is the third discovered in the area in recent years. The finds suggest that the three valley sites may have been part of a large capital for divine worship, said archaeologist Walter Alva, director of the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. Alva and colleagues started the dig in November 2007, when they discovered a 4,000-year-old temple and a mural painting at the Ventarron site in the valley. Both the temple and mural were the oldest ever found in the Americas.

Peru: Oldest Urban Site in the Americas Found, Experts Claim National Geographic - February 27, 2008
Peru's "Lost City" Is a Natural Formation, Experts Rule National Geographic - February 25, 2008
Remnants of at least ten pyramids have been discovered on the coast of Peru, marking what could be a vast ceremonial site of an ancient, little-known culture.

Ancient Iron Ore Mine Discovered in Peruvian Andes National Geographic - February 11, 2008
A 2,000-year-old mine has been discovered high in mountains in Peru. The find offers proof that an ancient people in the Andes mined hematite iron ore centuries before the Inca Empire, archaeologists say. The mine was used to tap a vein of hematite, or ochre - the first such mine found in South America that predates the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, experts note. The discovery, reported by a U.S. archaeologist, was made in southern Peru in the region once inhabited by the ancient Nasca (often spelled "Nazca") culture.

Archaeologist 'Strikes Gold' With Finds Of Ancient Nasca Iron Ore Mine In Peru Science Daily - February 5, 2008
A Purdue University archaeologist discovered an intact ancient iron ore mine in South America that shows how civilizations before the Inca Empire were mining this valuable ore. "Archaeologists know people in the Old and New worlds have mined minerals for thousands and thousands of years," said Kevin J. Vaughn, an assistant professor of anthropology who studies the Nasca civilization, which existed from A.D. 1 to A.D. 750. "Iron mining in the Old World, specifically in Africa, goes back 40,000 years. And we know the ancient people in Mexico, Central America and North America were mining for various materials. There isn't much evidence for these types of mines. "What we found is the only hematite mine, a type of iron also known as ochre, recorded in South America prior to the Spanish conquest. This discovery demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations."