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Remains of pre-Hispanic children left as offerings found in Peru


Recent discoveries in the huaca Mateo Salado provide an insight into the way of life of the ancient inhabitants of the area. They also reveal the rich trade that passed through the area during the Inca period.

Remains of pre-Hispanic children left as offerings found in Peru
Credit: Andina/Luis Iparraguirre
A few years ago, during an archaeological excavation in one of the pyramids of the Lima archaeological complex of Mateo Salado, numerous burial sites were found. They date, according to archaeologists, to the Ychma culture, which belongs to the Late Intermediate period.

Pedro Espinoza, the archaeologist in charge of the work in this huaca, explained to the Andina news agency that it was necessary to study a couple of these funerary bundles. It was discovered that these contained the remains of minors.

Espinoza also noted that the burials had taken place in a tower built by the Lima culture, the predecessor of the Ychma, and that it was no longer in use at the time it was used as a burial site. "The Lima did not bury their dead in buildings, but the Ychma did," he noted.

Remains of pre-Hispanic children left as offerings found in Peru
Credit: Andina/Luis Iparraguirre
However this is not the only recent finding in the huaca Mateo Salado. One piece of information that the archaeological team of this complex sought to unravel was to ascertain how far the northernmost wall extended.

This is separated from the rest of the site due to the roadways resulting from urban expansion.

Espinoza said a straight line was drawn in an area that almost borders the Bertello Road. While digging there, archaeologists discovered two things.

Remains of pre-Hispanic children left as offerings found in Peru
Credit: Andina/Luis Iparraguirre
First, their suspicions were confirmed that the wall extended beyond, even under the aforementioned road.

Second: the landfill used to build the wall contained the remains of two infants under one year old. He explained that both were not dressed and that one could speculate that they were used as offerings for the construction.

Espinoza said that the projected museum of Mateo Salado's site will exhibit both the remains of the newborns found in the north wall and the funeral bundles containing children found in the pyramid.

Remains of pre-Hispanic children left as offerings found in Peru
Credit: Andina/Luis Iparraguirre
"In this way it will be possible to compare the different funeral traditions that were practiced in the place", he said.

Other peculiarities found at Mateo Salado, Espinoza added, were the materials that come from various locations. There is even material of Ecuadorian origin such as the famous spondilus, as well as from northern Chile and southern Peru such as lapis lazuli.

Other items from faraway areas include mercury from Huancavelica and certain seeds from the Amazon.


Espinoza explains that, although during the different periods of Mateo Salado's occupation, items from faraway places have been found, it is during the Inca occupation that an exponential increase in this variety of raw materials is seen.

"This is undoubtedly due to the importance of Mateo Salado in the Tahuantinsuyo road network", concludes Espinoza.

Source: Andina [July 06, 2018]

TANN

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