Temple built 4,000 years ago unearthed in Peru
The ruins of archaeological sites in Peru include Incan, Moche, Nazca,
and many other of the most sophisticated civilizations of the world. Update: Video
Peru (AP) - Carbon dating tests and excavation of a colorful pre-Incan
temple indicate that it was built thousands of years ago by an advanced
civilization, a prominent archaeologist said in comments published
Sunday by a Peruvian newspaper.
Unearthed in Peru's archeologically rich northern coastal desert,
the temple has a staircase leading to an altar that was used for
worshipping fire and making offerings to deities, Walter Alva, who
headed the three-month excavation, told El Comercio.
Some of the walls of the 27,000-square-foot site—almost half the
size of a football field—were painted, and a white and red mural
depicts a deer being hunted with a net.
Alva said the temple was apparently constructed by an "advanced
civilization" because it was built with mud bricks made from sediment
found in local rivers, instead of rocks.
"This discovery shows an architectural and iconographic tradition
different from what has been known until now," said Alva, who
discovered and is the museum director for another important pre-Incan
find, the nearby Lords of Sipan Moche Tombs.
The carbon dating tests, conducted in the United States, indicate that the site is 4,000 years old, he claimed.
The oldest known city in the Americas is Caral, also near the Peruvian coast, which researchers dated to 2627 B.C.
LIMA (Reuters) - A 4,000-year-old temple filled with murals has been unearthed on the northern coast of Peru, making it one of the oldest finds in the Americas, a leading archaeologist said on Saturday.
The temple, inside a larger ruin, includes a staircase that leads up to an altar used for fire worship at a site scientists have called Ventarron, said Peruvian archaeologist Walter Alva, who led the dig.
It sits in the Lambayeque valley, near the ancient Sipan complex that Alva unearthed in the 1980s. Ventarron was built long before Sipan, about 2,000 years before Christ, he said.
“It’s a temple that is about 4,000 years old,” Alva, director of the Museum Tumbas Reales (Royal Tombs) of Sipan, told Reuters by telephone after announcing the results of carbon dating at a ceremony north of Lima sponsored by Peru’s government.
“What’s surprising are the construction methods, the architectural design and most of all the existence of murals that could be the oldest in the Americas,” he said.
Lambayeque is 472 miles from Lima, Peru’s capital.