Category Archives: SOUTH AMERICA

PERU: Well-Preserved Dog Remains Unearthed in ancient Peruvian temple

PERU: Well-Preserved Dog Remains Unearthed in ancient Peruvian temple

In an ancient pre-Hispanic Peruvian site, the “unprecedented” well-preserved bones of a 1000-year-old dog are found.

In the main building, described as a temple in the reports, researchers from the Sechin Archeological Project found dog remains from the Casma Valley in northern Peru.

The Casma-Sechin culture is a concentration of pre-Hispanic ruins in the valleys of the Casma River.

PERU: Well-Preserved Dog Remains Unearthed in ancient Peruvian temple
The dog remains found in Peruvian archaeological site

Researchers said the dog (Canis lupus familiaris), whose breed and age are yet to be determined, is from the late occupation of the Sechin culture around 1,000 A.D.

The temple complex is believed to be much older, however, with scientists finding a staircase reportedly dating back some 4,000 years.

Project director Monica Suarez told reporters the dog is so well preserved its fur can be determined as “yellow and brown” and even the pads on its paws have been preserved.

She added that the dog “could be a native breed from the pre-Hispanic era” that had settled in the temple, adding: “It is believed it belongs to the era of the reoccupation of Sechin, specifically to the Casma culture, around 1,000 AD.”

Local media report the find has been described by the researchers as “unprecedented”.

The remains will be sent to the Peruvian Ministry of Country after being analyzed by the researchers.

The project is in the middle of its first phase and the researchers will take a break in November before starting again before the end of the year.

The mummified corpse of ‘magical’ baby boy who died 50 years ago attracts thousands of pilgrims

The mummified corpse of ‘magical’ baby boy who died 50 years ago attracts thousands of pilgrims

There are thousands of pilgrims hundreds of miles traveling to visit the tiny body of Miguel Ángel Gaitán, Spanish for “Miracle Child”. “El Angelito Milagroso.”

Fifteen days prior to his first birthday in 1967, Miguel died of meningitis. Seven years ago, however, he apparently returned from beyond the grave seven years later and refused to go back – so his family members displayed their wrinkled corpse to worshippers to visit. 

A young boy poses with Miguel

El Angelito was buried where he was born in Banda Florida, a small town in the northwest of Argentina.

But seven years later something odd began to happen when the boy’s grave and the coffin would often be found open – with objects and pieces of a stone thrown all around it.

The cemetery janitors initially blamed violent rainstorms that were battering the city at the time.

But the mysterious happenings continued even after the weather improved.

Pilgrims leave flowers, pictures, and toys around Miguel

The boy’s mother said: “We would even put stones and other objects over the cover – but every morning we’d find it open.

“We then figured Miguelito did not want to be covered – he wanted to be seen.”

Villagers moved the coffin out in the open – but then the coffin’s lid kept being removed.

Interpreting the bizarre phenomenon as a further sign Miguel wanted to be seen, the family moved him to a coffin with a glass lid.

Even after almost 50 years, Miguel’s tiny wrinkled corpse is still incredibly well-preserved.

The child’s body quickly became a local attraction and rumours began to spread far and wide about his supposed magical powers.

For decades now thousands of Argentinians from across the country have descended on the remote town to seek a miracle.

One man – Daniel Saavedra – went to visit El Angelito when he fell ill with a rare pancreatic disease and within weeks he made a full recovery – he claims.

While some people believe touching the mummy’s forehead can help them, others just come to see the peculiar situation and hear the story.

Many of the visitors leave toys and flowers at the tomb.

Mysterious Secret Tunnel Discovered Under Ancient Pyramid in Mexico

Mysterious Secret Tunnel Discovered Under Ancient Pyramid in Mexico

As we use advanced archeological techniques, we appear to create incredible findings at various ancient locations, like Teotihuacan in Mexico.

Recently, in Teotihuacán’s ancient town northeast of Mexico City, archeologists have discovered a secret tunnel under the famous Moon Pyramid.

Hidden for ages, the underground tunnel, as archeologists claim, could represent the underworld as a component of the ancient system of belief in the Pre-Colombian civilization that once thrived here. The Moon Pyramid is the second largest structure seen in Teotihuacán.

The site was most certainly built 2,000 years ago, by a civilization that pre-dates the Aztecs who were later occupants of Teotihuacán.

According to National Geographic, the tunnel extends in length from the central square, known as Plaza de la Luna, and goes toward the nearby pyramid. It is at a depth of about 33 feet and is similar to a few other tunnels that had been discovered in the past.

The Pyramid of the Moon

This newest discovery was made with the help of a method known as electrical resistivity tomography that is able to generate subterranean imagery.

A team of archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History employed the method as part of their conservation effort concerning the central square at the ancient location. Nobody has yet been able to access the tunnel and see what’s hidden inside.

Gomes Believe that tunnel is one of the most important discoveries in the history of Mexico.
Gomes Believe that tunnel is one of the most important discoveries in the history of Mexico.

The Pyramid of the Moon could have been used for human sacrifice and a number of other rituals–claims that are based on studies of human remains located at burial sites in the complex.

As the purpose of the tunnel cannot be completely clear at the moment, it is up to further research to learn more details and recover artifacts.

The history of the ancient city of Teotihuacán is complex, but most certainly it was one of the largest cities in the Americas of pre-Columbian times, believed to have housed at least 125,000 people.

The Pyramid of the Moon, as the second-largest pyramid after the Pyramid of the Sun, imitates the contours of the mountain Cerro Gordo, that is just north of the site.

“Tenan” is one more name used for the site by some people, which in Nahuatl (Aztec) means “Mother of protective stone.” Estimates suggest the massive structure was built sometime before 200 AD, making it older than its bigger counterpart, the Pyramid of the Sun.

Pyramids of the Sun and Moon on the Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan ancient historic cultural city, old ruins of Aztec civilization, Mexico, North America

A slope found on the front of the pyramid’s staircase enables access to the Avenue of the Dead, a platform situated on the top of the pyramid.

This place was used to worship the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, the deity of water, fertility, the Earth, and also creation itself. The platform, as well as a prominent sculpture unearthed at the bottom of the pyramid, are most certainly dedicated to this major deity.

The Plaza of the Moon, from where the newly uncovered tunnel extends towards the pyramid, is just opposite the altar of the Great Goddess. Its structure is composed of a central altar, plus a formation designated the “Teotihuacan Cross.”

Aerial view of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon in Teotihuacan, México.

There is no doubt that an intelligent construction system was employed to build not only the monumental bases of the two great pyramids but also the entire city.

While evidence suggests the pyramids have undergone several intricate phases of construction, the entire city of Teotihuacán has signs that it was very carefully planned as well, incorporating its main axis and a great palace surrounded by 15 monumental pyramids in the design.

Tombs found in the location have contained human skeletons, but also a variety of animal bones, obsidian blades, pieces of jewelry and a number of other types of offerings. Despite all finds so far, many questions concerning Teotihuacán’s history and culture still need to be answered.

What made this ancient society sacrifice its own children?

Why were hundreds of children sacrificed in ancient Peru?

Archeologists who found them must have been shocked, perplexed and saddened before they first found the children’s bodies. Why would someone ever kill hundreds of kids ritually? What kind of monster is capable of such incredible evil.

In Peru archeologists who have lately digged something out of a horror novel have stumbled upon, according to Al Jazeera:

“Archaeologists in Peru have discovered a grave containing the bodies of 227 children who were almost certainly killed as part of a child sacrifice ritual.

“The sacrificial site was found near Huanchaco, a beachside tourist town north of Lima.

“‘This is the biggest site where the remains of sacrificed children have been found.

All of the children had been ritually sacrificed with their hearts cut out.

The bodies of the children are believed to have been a part of the ancient Chimú culture are the date from a period between 1400 and 1450.

“From about 900 until 1470 AD, at which time they were conquered by the Inca empire. A scientific paper published in March in PLOS One details the results of recent excavations at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas archaeological site, where ‘evidence of a previously unknown ritual involving a massive sacrifice of 140 children and 200 young camelids (llamas) by the Chimú State, c. AD 1450.’

The site, according to the Los Angeles Times, is one of the largest known cases of child sacrifice in the history of the Americas, and those who uncovered the bodies were said to be “shocked” unable to believe they had found so many tiny children who had been slaughtered in such a ritualistic fashion.

Archaeologists were astonished by what they found at the burial site

The Chimú people were highly advanced and valued agriculture because it helped feed their nation. They even build a network of hydraulic canals so they could bring water from the mountainous region down to irrigate their crops.

Yet none of these facts explain why the Chimú would have suddenly felt a need to sacrifice so many children. There are no written records of their specific religious beliefs, but we do know that the bodies were buried “in a thick layer of mud that lay on top of the sand” and this would seem to suggest they were placed there after heavy rains caused massive mudslides in the area.

Could the weather have been the reason for the sacrifices?

“The northern coast of Peru is very dry in general, but El Niño climate conditions can bring unexpected heavy rains and flooding.”

What gods were being appeased by the sacrifices?

Haagen Klaus, an anthropologist at George Mason University, believes the floods were what caused the sudden need for human sacrifices, adding that “he had little doubt that the sacrifice was a response to the rains.”

It was believed that the ancestors controlled water supplies and offerings were made to appease the ancestors, ‘to bring the world back into balance.’”

Imagine what must have transpired: The rains and flooding came, destroying the crops and economy of the Chimú.

They felt a need to appease the gods, so they arranged for the ritual sacrifice of children and llamas, the most valuable things in their society.

Though it seems barbaric and unforgivable to us thousands of years later, the Chimú were merely doing what they hoped would revive their nation and return balance to nature and life.

But the evidence they left seems to suggest that all they accomplished was leaving a charnel house of horrors to document their own lack of understanding.

500-Year-Old Incan ‘Princess’ Mummy Finally Returned To Bolivia After 129 Years

500-Year-Old Incan ‘Princess’ Mummy Finally Returned To Bolivia After 129 Years

Some 129 years after it was donated to the Michigan State University Museum, a 500-year-old Incan Girl’s mummy has been returned to Bolivia and an official says that human remains of archeological significance are the first time being repatriated back to the Andean country.

Known as Ñusta, a Quechua word for ‘Princess,’ the mummy amazes many because of its excellent state of preservation: Its black braids seem recently combed and its hands still cling to small feathers.

Experts say the mummy originally came from a region in the Andean highlands near La Paz during the last years of the Inca civilization. 

Radiocarbon tests also have revealed that it dates to the second half of the 15th century, confirming the likelihood that its tomb burial preceded the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of the Inca by the Spanish.

Close-up of Ñusta’s very well-preserved feet and hands.

‘Despite the fact that it was given the name Ñusta, or ‘Princess,’ we don’t know if she was really a princess.

We will only be able to answer that with DNA studies,’ said William A. Lovis, an MSU emeritus professor of anthropology who worked for years to help bring the remains home.

The mummy was returned more than two weeks ago with the assistance of the U.S. embassy in La Paz, and a new study is expected to be carried out by November by Bolivian academics and foreign experts. 

Until then, accompanying funerary objects will be exhibited to the public during a celebration that pays homage to the dead on Nov. 2.

Culture Minister Wilma Alanoca said that in recent years, the Bolivian government has achieved the repatriation of several archaeological goods that were taken illegally, but this is the first time that a body has been brought back.

‘It’s the first time that a body has been recovered, a mummy from the Inca period,’ she said.

Still, many mysteries remain unsolved.

The girl, who is thought to have been part of an ethnic Aymara group known as the Pacajes, had originally been placed in a stone tomb along with sandals, a small clay jar, pouches, feathers and several types of plants including maize and coca – perhaps because some Andean civilizations believed that offerings helped the dead transition into the next life.

The mummy was originally found in a chullpa, a stone burial tomb built by the Aymara.

‘It’s possible that the girl was an important person and that the objects placed with her had as much sacred importance as they had a useful purpose,’ said Lovis. 

‘Another possibility is that her death was an Inca sacrifice to appease or an offer to Inca deities.’

Ñusta is believed to have been about 8 years old when she died and was buried in a dress made with threads from llama or alpaca, animals which were domesticated more than 4,000 years ago in the Andes and still roam the highlands of Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile.

David Trigo, who heads the National Archaeology Museum in La Paz, said the well-kept objects open new doors into a society that has barely been studied.

‘We can say that she was an important member of her ethnic group,’ Trigo said, referring to Incan and Aymara traditions of building adobe or stone tombs known as chullpa for elite members of their communities.

For now, the remains are being preserved in a refrigerated chamber at the National Archaeology Museum in downtown La Paz.