New archaeological finds from ancient city of Caral to be exhibited throughout the month of June

Newly discovered archaeological finds from the ancient city of Caral will be put on display throughout the month of June in Vichama, an agricultural town located about 124 miles north of Lima on Peru’s coast, state news agency Andina reported Tuesday.

The most interesting remains of this ancient civilization – including clay figurines and giant shicras, or bags able to support up to 2 tons of stones and earth– will be exhibited in Végueta’s Community Museum. The figurines were made from non-glazed clay, painted different tones of white, black and red, and made to represent various individuals, including children wrapped in blankets and high-ranking officials.

The Vichama finds are part of the Caral Archaeological Project directed by Dr. Ruth Shady of the University of San Marcos.

The town of Vichama will also unveil an architectural monument called “The Cornices.” Made of circular plazas, cornices and vaulted niches, the monument is designed to replicate architectural elements present in Caral, and later used by the Inca civilization.

Caral was discovered by Paul Kosok in 1948, but received little attention until recently because it appeared to lack many typical artifacts usually found at archaeological sites throughout the Andes.

The city of Caral was a dense, diverse and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous people and a center of religious, political and administrative power. It formed part of a hierarchical group of settlements that had a well-defined design denoting planning, zoning, and organized management of space for differentiated use by its occupants, with physical or symbolic connotations, and diverse architectural expressions relating to a complex division of labor and the presence of specialists in a variety of production and trade activities.

The urban complex is spread out over 150 acres, or 607,000 square meters, and includes the Pirámide Mayor – which covers the size of four football fields – and 19 other pyramid complexes scattered across the 35 square mile, or 80 square kilometer, area of the Supe Valley.

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