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New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán


More than 30 professionals, including archaeologists, anthropologists, curators and a hundred or so excavators, were hired by the concessionaire of State Highway No. 4 (Trujillo - Pativilca) to evaluate whether there were any archaeological remains on the surface of the site where the new roadway will be built, as part of the studies to be carried out to obtain the Certificate of Absence of Archaeological Remains (CIRA).

New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
Credit: Laura Urbina
The Manchán archaeological site extends over 60 hectares, but the research team worked on some 17,000 square metres, at the height of kilometre 371+200 and 372+400 of the Pan-American Highway North, in the jurisdiction of Casma, in 2016.

Nover Horna Gálvez, an archaeologist with the consulting firm Qetzal SAC, said the main findings are the 270 ceramic pieces dating from the Late Intermediate Period (1,100 to 1,400 AD), as well as  27 human bone remains, 49 species of mollusks, 57 species of botanical remains, two species of birds and four mammals (including dogs, guinea pigs and llamas).

New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
Credit: Laura Urbina
The specialist commented that after the analysis of the pre-Columbian archaeological remains they have been able to learn more about the way of life of the inhabitants of the Casma, Chimú and Inca cultures, in the southern part of the Peruvian coast, who were mainly farmers.

"As a result of the excavations, it has been possible to recover ceramics, utensils and woven fabric with sophisticated designs. We've recorded human and animal burials. The analyses have revealed that the villagers suffered from nutritional diseases and intentionally modified the skulls of their inhabitants," Horna said.

New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
Credit: Laura Urbina
In addition, the project has also revealed a 'yupana', made of clay, which served as an abacus used to perform arithmetic operations in the time of the Incas. They have also found irrigation canals and an Inca trail.

The research has been collated, with the help of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in the book "Partial archaeological rescue in Manchán", which was presented last month at the Casma Max Uhle Regional Museum.

New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
Credit: Laura Urbina
"Four months of work and analysis have allowed us to produce a book that seeks to re-evaluate the pre-Hispanic history of the country. We hope that this study will help to enhance and conserve the archaeological site, whose structures were built from adobe and quincha (plastered cane or reeds), and had a monumental and walled-in style," Nover Horna told El Comercio.

In the meantime, the director of the Max Uhle Museum in Casma, Luis Burgos, said that this research will serve as the basis for requesting the development of the archaeological site.

New finds revealed after rescue work at Peru's archaeological site of Manchán
Credit: Laura Urbina
"According to the researchers, Manchán was an administrative center of the Chimú culture, in the southern part of the country's coast. The idea is to take this work as the basis to enhance the site and present it to the Peruvian community and people," he said.

The Manchán archaeological site is located 10 minutes from the city of Casma and has been declared a national cultural heritage site. However, today, it has been invaded by some families, and has become a garbage dump.

Source: El Comercio [June 21, 2018]

TANN

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