Scientists announced the discovery of an ancient temple dedicated to the water deity, which used to be a place for rituals to pray for fertile soil.
3,000-year-old temple in Peru seen from above.(Photo: AFP).
The remains of a megalithic temple stretching over 40 meters were found at the site of Huaca El Toro , near the Zana Valley River in the Lambayeque region, about 800 km from Peru's capital Lima. Archaeologists have unearthed many stone blocks, stair systems and a large square inside the temple, estimated to date from 1500 BC to 29 AD.
"This is the only megalithic structure ever discovered in Lambayeque," said Dr. Walter Alva, who led the research. "The temple faces the mountains and is the site of important ceremonies for the fertile soil."
The team said it found many altars, described as "typical water altars," and a circular pillar containing evidence of rainwater deposition. Besides, they also unearthed 21 tombs containing many ceramic pieces and metal items such as knives and water jugs.
The tomb contains a pitcher (left) and a staircase system inside the temple.(Photo: AFP).
However, the tombs only date from about 1000 to 1470 AD. This shows that the temple was later reused by the Incas of the Chimú culture .
This is not the first major discovery of Walter Alva. Earlier, in 1987, his team found the tomb of Lord Sipan, ruler of the once-thriving Moche civilization in northern Peru. In 2007, Alva discovered a 4,000-year-old mural, arguably the oldest in the Americas.