Researchers in Peru’s southern Cusco region have uncovered funeral remains belonging to a pre-Inca culture some 3,000 years ago, RPP Noticias reported.
The findings are believed to have belonged to the Marcavalle culture, which some reports say were the first people to settle in the Cusco valley around the year 1000 BCE.
Subsequent cultures developed in the area after the Marcavalle, including the Inca’s, who made Cusco its capital as it expanded its empire in the 15th century.
The findings at the funeral site include a rustic wall in the shape of a semicircle, a large amount of ceramic pieces, stones, bones and projectile objects.
“They are the first funeral context found intact in 50 years of studying and researching… that will allow us to understand the cultural evolutionary process in the valley,” said Ricardo Ruiz, the head of the decentralized office for culture in Cusco.
As the center of the Inca Empire, Cusco is full of archaeological ruins and history. The city is visited by hundreds of thousands of travelers every year who are on their way to the nearby ruins of Machu Picchu.