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12 February 2020
Peruvian monument revealed after 2,000 years

In a high jungle in what is now northern Peru researchers have made a detailed 3D scan of a 2,000 yeae old stone monolith decorated with swirls, circular patterns, and fangs belonging to a deity archaeologists call a "feline feathered figure".
     In danger of being lost to erosion, the abstract and ornate images and patterns are difficult to describe. Archaeologists wanting to record the carvings hiked and rode horses from 1,800 metres to a remote village 4,000 metres above sea level.
     The monolith is made of a sedimentary stone that is not found locally. Around one ton in weight, the rock is about 3 metres wide, 75 centimetres high, and 150 centimetres long.
     The engraving of the feline feathered figure indicates the carvings were created during what archaeologists call the 'formative period' between 200 BCE and 200 CE. There was no writing in Peru during this period, but studies of other archaeological sites show the feline feathered figure was popular at the time.
     The Inca who flourished in the area during the 15th century CE built two baths not far from the monolith.

Edited from LiveScience (24 January 2020)

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