The remains of a ceremonial temple about 5,000 years old have been discovered in an archaeological complex located in the Lambayeque region, in northern Peru, an official statement reported on Thursday.

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The Ministry of Culture indicated that, through the Decentralized Directorate of Culture (DDC) of Lambayeque, it supervised and verified the progress of the first stage of the research work of the Archaeological Project Cultural Landscapes of Úcupe – Zaña Valley.

These works began on June 3 at the Los Paredones de la Otra Banda Archaeological Complex – Las Ánimas, located 48 kilometers from the city of Chiclayo, the regional capital.

Culture detailed that the director of the archaeological project, Luis Armando Muro, noted that “two archaeological units have been excavated, discovering in the first remains of a religious monumental architecture belonging to the formative period that would be approximately five thousand years old.”

“We are possibly facing a religious site “five thousand years old, which constitutes an architectural space defined by walls built of adobe. We have what would have been a central staircase from which one would ascend to a kind of stage in the central part,” Muro added.

According to official information, the temple has “friezes with anthropomorphic images in high relief presenting a human body with a bird’s head, feline images and reptile claws.”

Experts considered that in this place “would take place special ceremonies and at the top a wall covered was discovered with a fine plaster with a pictorial design.”

Was there a second discovery in Peru?

In the second excavation unit, ceremonial architecture was also found belonging to the late Mochica period, between the years 600 and 700 AD, which has buttresses and bases of a large stepped platform.

In addition, the burial of a child approximately 5 to 6 years old, belonging to a later period.

These investigations seek to examine the appearance, evolution and development of the ceremonial center and elite cemetery of the archaeological zone of La Otra Banda and Úcupe, which were built and consolidated at a regional level between the Formative and Moche periods of Peruvian pre-Hispanic history.

The research, which was authorized by the General Directorate of Archaeological Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, is funded by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

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