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2 August 2014
Ancient astronomy in northern Peru

Archaeologists in Peru found what they believe is a stone altar containing petroglyphs dating to 3,500 to 4,000 years ago. Researchers say the engravings record star patterns and rain forecasts.
     The discovery was made at the archaeological complex of Licurnique, in Peru's northern region of Lambayeque - known for its archaeological finds, and rich Moche and Chimú historical past. The name Lambayeque is a Spanish derivation of the god Yampellec, said to have been worshipped by the first Lambayeque king, Naymlap.
     Researchers explain that the Licurnique archaeological site is unique because it combines prehistoric, Hispanic, and Andean influences.
     According to legend, a great float of balsa rafts arrived at the beaches of the San José cove. Formed by a brilliant cortège of nine foreign warriors, this float was led by a man of great talent and courage called Naymlap, the mythical founder of the first northwest civilisation. Among the descendants of Naymlap were the Moche, the Wari', and the Chimú peoples.
     The Lambayeque region has become an archeological gold mine. Just last year, a religious centre from pre-Incan Chavin culture was discovered in the area. The find was made while trying to test a hypothesis that each valley in the region has a temple dedicated to the water and fertility cult.

Edited from Andient Origins (27 July 2014), Peru This Week (23 July 2014), Latin Times (28 July 2014)

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