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Long lost Inca altar is found beside river in Peru

Workers doing cleanup along a river in southern Peru stumbled upon part of a pre-Hispanic, Inca-era altar believed to have been long-lost, the Culture Ministry said Wednesday.

Long-lost Inca altar is found beside river in Peru
The remains of a pre-hispanic altar were discovered by workers performing a cleanup on the banks of the 
Vilcanota river in the Cusco region, southeastern Peru [Credit: AFP/Culture Ministry]
About 35 percent of the altar -- weighing around 20 tonnes and decorated with detailed carving -- was located on the bank of the Vilcanota River, in the Cusco region.

The hefty stone religious piece, dating from sometime between 1200 and 1500 AD, is about 2.5 meters (eight feet) long and one meter (three feet) tall.

It was feared to have been lost for good during major road work in the area four years ago.

But as the workers cleared stones, sand, earth and brush that had been deposited by the river, they discovered the piece -- a significant part of Peru's cultural patrimony.

"Now we have to recover it all, as fully as possible, and relocate it," Oscar Montufar, coordinator of the Ollantaytambo Archaeological Park, told reporters, explaining that the alter had been used in water worship.

The Cusco area Culture Office said it was considering relocating the altar to the main square of Ollantaytambo, one of Cusco's biggest tourist draws after the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Source: AFP [September 29, 2016]

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