Topic ID #23008 - posted 9/7/2012 2:28 AM

Ancient Tomb Built to Flood—Sheds Light on Peru Water Cult?

Jennifer Palmer


Ancient Tomb Built to Flood—Sheds Light on Peru Water Cult?
Archaeologists find an unusual stacked grave holding pre-Inca leaders.

Victoria Markovitz for National Geographic News Published September 6, 2012

Archaeologists in Peru thought they had discovered something special when they uncovered the tomb of a pre-Inca priestess and eight other corpses in 2011. But an even bigger find was right beneath their feet.

Continuing their search for artifacts a year later, the team dug beneath the priestess, uncovering a basement tomb they believe was built by an ancient water cult and meant to flood.

"This is a very valuable finding," said Carlos Wester La Torre, head of the excavation and director of the Brüning National Archaeological Museum in the Lambayeque region—a region named after the little-known culture that built the stacked tomb. "The amount of information of this funerary complex is very important, because it changes [what we know of] the political and religious structures of the Andean region."

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