Images show kivas before and after stone temple construction

Written by Staff Writer at CNN An archaeological dig in Peru has unearthed the earliest evidence of burial rituals used by pre-Hispanic communities and prehistoric people dating back more than 7,000 years. Designed to…

Images show kivas before and after stone temple construction

Written by Staff Writer at CNN

An archaeological dig in Peru has unearthed the earliest evidence of burial rituals used by pre-Hispanic communities and prehistoric people dating back more than 7,000 years.

Designed to accomodate the deceased after death, the burial brought together both individuals and animals in a traditional kiva-style arrangement.

One of the oldest kivas in the world, this city-inspired garden is the base of a common burial location for pre-Hispanic people from about 2,000 BC. Credit: Capitan Bolaños, Daniel Palomares and Tsering Woesung/Archaeological and Historical Institute of Amazonas, Peru

The tomb was located in Amazonas, on the banks of Lake Titicaca, a great freshwater lake that cuts across the Peru-Brazil border, in a region known as the “Rodeo Bed Belt.”

A massive pictorial mural at the Rio de Carias park in Amazonas. Credit: Arlo Mayer/Corbis via Getty Images

Archaeologists from the Cusco University’s Natural History Museum found the kiva by chance while excavating the Rio de Carias (Mapache) Nature Park. The site is the oldest known example of a funeral society known as a montaje — an arrangement in which individuals and animals are buried together — making it 1,200 years older than any known montaje site before it.

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