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Archaeologists to revisit the Muyu Muyu Inca ceremonial centre

In 1998, a team of scientists from the Catholic University of Santa María ascended the Misti volcano, where they found two tombs four metres deep and five metres wide. In the first, the bodies of three children between the ages of 3 and 5 were found; in the second chamber, four more bodies were also found. The minors found were between the ages of 8 and 12.

Archaeologists to revisit the Muyu Muyu Inca ceremonial centre
Field work will be carried out by Peruvian and Polish researchers at the Muyu Muyu Inca ceremonial centre, discovered
more than ten years ago in Chichas district, province of Condesuyos, Arequipa region, which would have served
to pay homage to the snowy Solimana, apu considered one of the main oracles in the Inca period
[Credit: Municipalidad Provincial de Chincheros]
A decade later, archaeologist Ruddy Perea Chávez, current director of the Andean Sanctuaries Museum of the Catholic University of Santa María, together with bioarchaeologist Mg. Dagmara Socha of the University of Warsaw (Poland), along with a team of specialists, began the study of the bodies found very close to the Misti crater. According to him, the first analysis of the bodies, which are 550 years old, were sacrificed by the Inca priests as an offering in honour of the volcano.

Perea Chavez, said that textiles were found next to the bodies, which had incrusted small metal sequins, in addition they also found items of silver depicting South American camelids.

Archaeologists to revisit the Muyu Muyu Inca ceremonial centre
The well-preserved frozen body of an Inca girl dubbed 'Juanita', also known as the 'Lady of Ampato',
who was killed as an offering to the Inca gods sometime between 1450 and 1480
[Credit: Dissemination]
"Now we are planning to make DNA studies of the remains found in the tombs to determine what kind of diseases they had, what diet they followed. We hope that this type of study will be carried out in the United States, but to achieve this, we are working on the creation of a report so that the Ministry of Culture authorizes the export of the pieces for the analysis to be carried out," he said.

Since August 2017 the researchers of the Catholic University of Santa Maria, have been working on locating and clearing sites the district of Chichas, province of Condesuyos. Their work resulted in the discovery of the Inca Ceremonial Centre of "Muyu Muyu", dedicated to the Solimana snow-covered mountain, which has a plaza where there are two pyramids, one located to the north of the enclosure and the other built to the south of the rectangular-shaped esplanade.

Archaeologists to revisit the Muyu Muyu Inca ceremonial centre
The body of the Inca girl was discovered on Mount Ampato (part of the Andes cordillera)
in southern Peru in 1995 by anthropologist Johan Reinhard
[Credit: Catholic University of Santa María]
The Inca complex extends for five hectares and the Inca priests came to the site to pay tribute to the snow-covered mountain which was considered an important god (Apu). Archaeologist Ruddy Perea Chavez revealed that in the centre of the complex an 'Ushno' was found, which is an altar built with polished rocks. This platform was used to place the offerings dedicated to the Inca deity.

"The discovery of the altar suggests that the ceremonial centre of Muyu Muyu was an important place of pilgrimage for the Incas, because this type of platform was only built in sacred places of great importance. After carrying out the maintenance work with the support of the Yanque community members, we were able to clear the vegetation and locate the ceremonial centre and we also have indications that there might also be a cemetery in the area", he revealed.

More fieldwork will be conducted in the five hectares that covers the complex. Preliminary studies indicate that the site was also served as a place of worship for pre-Inca cultures of the Arequipa Region.

Source: Catholic University of Santa María [October 04, 2018]


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