A 1,800-year-old cemetery has been discovered after construction workers excavated a street in Peru in order to install gas pipes, researchers recently reported.
“During excavations to install a gas distribution network, we came across a great archaeological find. We found the remains of what is believed to be a 1,800-year-old cemetery, with a treasure trove of artifacts” archaeologist Cecilia Camargo told AFP.
The unexpected discovery was made in the Breña district in the central area of Lima by a group of workers from the subsidiary of the Colombian company Calidda, which distributes natural gas in Peru.
This company has a team of archaeologists as it is common to find traces of ancient cultures in Lima and other areas of the Peruvian coast.
To protect possible ancient sites, archaeologists tend to survey areas prior to excavations or construction. This way, the modernization of the country will not move forward at the cost of destroying traces of ancient cultures, many of which called present-day Peru their home, thousands of years ago.
The recent discovery yielded a treasure trove of artifacts it has been reported.
“To date, we have found the remains of four individuals and 15 ancient vessels, all of which were painted with a “white over red style.” The artifacts are thought to date back at least 1,800 years,” said archaeologist Marilin Herrera.
The white on red style present on pottery is traced back to the beginning of the Early Intermediate, whose characteristic cultures are Lima or Moche. In other words, it is likely that these artifacts and the cemetery as well date back to around 200 or 300 AD.
Analysis of the skeletons revealed that the ancients were buried facing south and had several ceramic offerings around, such as vessels, plates, and containers.
Construction works for the gas pipe network were immediately suspended in that area, which was cordoned off for archaeologists to work.
“We are all surprised, even under 40 centimeters great things can be found,” said Camargo, who directs the archaeological work of the team of Calidda. ”
In Lima, there are more than 400 archaeological sites,” the archeologist revealed.
The archaeologist explained that specialized teams are in charge of the anthropological analysis of the bone remains and the restoration of the vessels.
Researchers have revealed that in pre-Hispanic times this area was part of the Great Kingdom of Cuzco ( Curacazgo del Cuzco ) or manor of Ichma (Lima), centered in Pachacamac, south of the city. The estate extended from the Rimac River, which crosses the center of Lima, to the Lurin river valley, south of the capital.
The archeological site of Pachacamac is located around 40 kilometers (25 mi) southeast of Lima, Peru, in the Valley of the Lurin River. The site is thought to have been settled around 200 AD and was named after the “Earth Maker” creator god Pacha Kamaq.
The ancient site is thought to have flourished for about 1,300 years until the Spanish conquistadores arrived. Pachacamac is a massive archeological site, covering around 600 hectares of land.