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Tiwanaku Ritual Offerings Discovered in Lake Titicaca

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lake Titicaca offeringsOXFORD, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Guardian, a team of researchers led by Christophe Delaere of the University of Oxford and the Free University of Brussels have recovered ritual offerings made by the people of the Tiwanaku state from a reef off the coast of the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca, a body of water in the Andes Mountains that straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia. Delaere and his team suggest the site would have offered the Tiwanaku elite spectacular views for ceremonies that would have reinforced their power. Llama bones and remains of burned fish found along with luxurious artifacts at the site have been dated to between the eighth and tenth centuries A.D. The young llamas may have been adorned with items such as perforated gold ear ornaments with traces of leather tassels before being transported by boat to the reef, where they were sacrificed. The fish are thought to have been eaten during the ceremony. Other artifacts uncovered at the site include a lapis lazuli puma figurine, ceramic incense burners in the shape of pumas, and spiny oyster shells imported from Ecuador. For more on archaeology in the Andes, go to “The Water Temple of Inca-Caranqui.”

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