1,800-year-old cemetery unearthed in Peru’s capital

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Workers digging a street in Lima to lay a gas pipeline discovered an 1,800-year-old cemetery, archaeologists Cecilia Camargo told AFP.

1,800-year-old cemetery unearthed in Peru's capital
Credit: Municipalidad de Brena

The discovery was made on a street in the Brena district, in central Lima, by a team of workers from the subsidiary of the Colombian company Calidda, which distributes natural gas in Peru.

The company has a team of archaeologists, like others who do excavations, because it is common to find vestiges of ancient cultures in Lima and other areas of the Peruvian coast.




“So far we have found the remains of four individuals and 15 entire vessels, all of which are ‘white on red’ style, and which are 1,800 years old,” archaeologist Marilin Herrera told AFP.

“The white on red style is dated to the beginning of the Early Intermediate Period, whose characteristic cultures are Lima or Moche. This style dates from 200 BC to 300 AD,” Herrera explained.

1,800-year-old cemetery unearthed in Peru's capital
Credit: Municipalidad de Brena

The archaeologist said the dead were buried facing south and had several ceramic offerings around them, such as pots, plates, jugs and double-bottomed flasks.

Work on the gas network was immediately suspended in that area, which was cordoned off for the archaeologists to work on.




“It surprises us all in a city that is consolidated, even below 40 centimetres, that great things appear,” said Camargo, who heads the archaeological work of the Calidda team.

There are more than 400 archaeological sites in Lima, he said.

1,800-year-old cemetery unearthed in Peru's capital
Credit: Municipalidad de Brena

The archaeologist said specialized teams are taking charge of the anthropological analysis of the bone remains and the restoration of the vessels.




All these findings will be handed over to the Ministry of Culture, which will determine whether they will be exhibited in museums.

In pre-Hispanic times, this area belonged to the great curacazgo or lordship of Ichma (Lima), with its center in Pachacamac, south of the city.

The lordship extended from the Rimac River, which crosses the centre of Lima, to the valley of the Lurin River, south of the capital.

Source: Tn8 [February 21, 2020]

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