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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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3,800-Year-Old Statuettes Unearthed in Northern Peru

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Peru Caral VichamaLIMA, PERU—Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced the discovery of three statuettes crafted by the Caral civilization. According to Phys.org, the 3,800-year-old statuettes had been placed in a reed basket in a building in the ancient city of Vichama. Two of the mud statuettes are of a man and a woman painted in white, black, and red, and are thought to represent political authorities. The third statuette depicts a woman with 28 fingers and red dots on her white face, who may be a priestess. Two sculptures of women’s faces that had been wrapped in cloth and covered with yellow, blue, and orange feathers were also found by a team led by archaeologist Ruth Shady. She thinks the objects may have been used in religious rituals performed before the construction of a new building. To read about the discovery of a 4,000-year-old painting in Peru, go to "New World's Earliest Mural."

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