| 7 December 2019
Pre-Inca temple dedicated to Water Cult discovered in Peru
Tucked away in northwestern Peru, in the Zana Valley, in an area known as Oyotun, you can find the Huaca El Toro site, where archaeologists from the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum have just uncovered a megalithic temple, the first to be found in the valley.
It is believed that the temple had evolved in three stages. The first stage was during the period from 1500 BCE to 800 BCE, which was the timespan referred to as the Formative or Neo-Indian Period. This was a period of major social development as well as an increase in monument building. This was when the original clay foundations were laid down forming a base for the main construction which consisted of large rocks, transported to the site from mountains located over 3 km away. The rocks were then carved in situ.
The temple had been built at the confluence of two rivers, which joined to form the Zana River. This location gave rise to the theory that the temple was dedicated to a Water Cult.
An archaeologist from the team, Edgar Bracamonte, believes that this theory is supported by the evidence of a series of wells in the area, showing that the occupants of the valley had a good understanding of weather patterns and the rainy/dry seasons. He also believed that its location was also a form of 'territorial symbolism', a trait of the Formative Period, an era of spectacular social transformation marked by the development of social stratification and monument building. The next period of occupation, evidenced by several burial tombs, occurred during the time of the Chumy People and this was followed by occupants of the Chavin Culture before being finally abandoned in approximately 250 BCE
Edited from Live Science (20 Nov 2019), International Business Times (21 Nov 2019)
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