December 18, 2008

Buried Ruins Of Ancient City Found In Peru

Archaeologists exploring northern Peru's Cerro Patapo archaeological site have unearthed the ruins of an entire city, investigators said Tuesday.

The discovery was made about 14 miles from the Pacific coast city of Chiclayo.

The find, which likely dates to the Wari culture that existed in the area between 600-1100 AD, may provide the "missing link" between two ancient cultures, scientists said.  If the assumption holds true, the discovery would connect the ancient Wari civilization to the Moche culture that thrived from 100-600 AD.

Researchers said the remains of the buried city include ceramics, parts of clothing and well-preserved remains of a young woman.

The vast city stretches over 3 miles, and shows indications of human sacrifice, with special places selected for the purpose and a pile of bones at the bottom of a nearby cliff.

"It provides the missing link because it explains how the Wari people allowed for the continuation of culture after the Moche," Cesar Soriano, the project's chief archeologist, told Reuters.

The find provides the first evidence of Wari culture, which grew from the country's south, at the northern site, Soriano explained.

The Wari people established their capital near modern-day Ayacucho, in the Andes.  However, they are well known for their extensive network of roads, upon which they traveled wide distances.

Archeologists at the Huaca Pucllana ruins in Lima, roughly 500 miles south of Chiclayo, discovered a mummy earlier this year that is also believed to be Wari.

Peru is a nation with vast numbers of archaeological sites dating back thousands of years.  Remains of dozens of cultures, including the Incan empire that was in power when Spanish explorers arrived in the early 1500s, are among the treasures discovered in the area.


Image Caption: The Moche civilization (alternately, the Mochica culture, Early Chimu, Pre-Chimu, Proto-Chimu, etc.) flourished in northern Peru from about AD 100 to AD 600, during the Regional Development Epoch.