Peru: New archaeological discoveries at oldest city in the Americas


Caral continues to yield surprising finds for archaeologists, even 19 years after it was first discovered.While the Egyptians were building the pyramids at Giza and the Britons were constructing Stonehenge, the ancient Norte Chico people of Peru were building a little something of their own: Caral, the generally considered to be the oldest city in the Americas.

Peruvian archaeologist Ruth Shady discovered Caral in 1994. Caral, which was inhabited between 2,600 and 2,000 BC, is located approximately 200 kilometers north of Lima.

As part of the nineteenth anniversary since its discovery, a number of cultural activities were held at Caral this weekend, including a gastronomical fair, an artististic event called Runa Raymi, and a ceremony honoring Mother Earth (Pachamama), reports news agency Efe.

Another cause for celebration at Caral this weekend was the inauguration of the Museo Comunitario de Supe, where El Comercio reports that visitors will be able to learn about the ongoing investigations into the Caral archaeological site.

And even 19 years after investigations first began at the site, archaeologists are still making new finds. Efe reports that a road connecting the prestigious center area of the city to the more modest outskirts was discovered recently, as well as the remains of a small public building on the edge of the city.

According to Shady, Caral may have ultimately met its demise because of a phenomena that we often think of as solely modern: climate change. Efe reports that Periods of flooding and drought rocked the land, and were accompanied by intense earthquakes.