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Platform in Peru May Have Produced Percussive Sounds

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Peru Sounding PlatformLIMA, PERU—The Art Newspaper reports that a floor surface on an open-air platform may have been used to create a drum-like sound at a possible Inca temple dedicated to a lightning deity at Peru’s site of Viejo Sangayaico. The floor was constructed between A.D. 1000 and 1400, and is thought to have been used into the sixteenth century. “We know that in pre-Hispanic Andean rituals dance was a big part of the proceedings. I believe that this specially constructed platform was built to enhance the natural sounds with dance,” said archaeologist Kevin Lane of the University of Buenos Aires. The platform, which was large enough to accommodate up to 26 dancers, was filled with four layers of camelid guano interspersed with four layers of clean silty clay. Gaps in the dung layers help to produce a deep sound, Lane explained. He thinks the percussive sounds produced by dancers could have been accompanied by other drums and possibly Andean wind instruments. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. To read about another temple on Peru's central coast, go to "Idol of the Painted Temple."

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