The artifacts are from an unknown culture. Archaeologists from the University of Wroclaw have uncovered 150 graves of a little known community that inhabited the Peruvian side of the Atacama Desert prior to the 7th century AD.
“These burials are of the virtually unknown people who inhabited the area before the expansion of the Tiwanaku civilization,” Professor Jozef Szykulski told the Polish Press Agency.
The graves had been dug in the sand, with no stone structures, meaning that they were highly difficult to locate, but as a result had not been looted by robbers over the centuries.
“Items found in individual graves indicate that the people already had a clear social division,” Szykulski noted. Members of the team discovered a large amount of jewellery, as well as lavishly decorated weaving tools.
“Inside some of the graves we found bows and quivers with arrows tipped with obsidian heads,” the archaeologist revealed. “This is a very interesting find, because bows are a rarity in Peru”.
According to thenews.pl, the discovery of a llama skeleton also proved intriguing, demonstrating that the animal had been brought to the region earlier than previously imagined.
The university team has been active in southern Peru since 2008, and the excavations are carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Peru and the Catholic University of Santa Maria in Arequipa.