Pre-Inca religious complex confirmed in northern Peru

Authorities in northern Peru have confirmed the finding of a religious complex from the pre-Inca Vicús culture, known for producing unique ceramic and gold work from 100 BC to AD 400. With an area of 3,500 square-meters, the site was initially uncovered by construction workers on Jan. 22. Archaeologists from the National Culture Institute, INC, in Piura Department later confirmed the site’s authenticity, daily El Comercio reported.

The religious center includes two large structures surrounded by four smaller ones. Archeologists say the site was likely used for religious ceremonies or as a cemetery for Vicús elite. It is located in the Morrópon Province, in Piura Department.

Archaeologists say the first “Large Pyramid” may have been used as a burial site for the elite, after they found fragments of human skull. They have also found a large platform beside the second “Large Pyramid,” suggesting it was the site of ceremonies where underlings provided tribute to the rulers.

The INC’s head of Archeology in Piura, César Santos Sánchez, said looters have been damaging the site as they rummage for valuable artifacts. “This religious complex of elite pre-Inca is surrounded by a desiccated graveyard and been rifled through by looters, but the archaeological site is still intact,” said Santos.

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