The remains of a 15,000-year-old advanced civilization found in Peru

Ancient Pyramids Excavations reveals extremely COMPLEX civilization 15,000 years ago.

Experts in Peru have discovered the remains of a complex and advanced civilization that existed in South America some 15,000 years ago.

Huaca Prieta mound situated on the Sangamon Terrace: buried terrace surface with Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene cultural deposits is indicated by dotted line below the mound; arrows show location of individual units excavated from the top of the mound down through and to the buried cultural deposits in the terrace. Scale shown by humans standing on the mounds. Image credit: Tom D. Dillehay, Vanderbilt University / Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1602778.

A team fo experts made a groundbreaking discovery in coastal Peru—home to one of the earliest pyramids in South America: Thousands of artifacts, including elaborate hand-woven baskets, show that early humans in that region were a lot more advanced than originally thought and had very complex social networks, reports the Florida Atlantic University.

Co-author of the study James M. Adovasio says that its inhabitants had a remarkable ability to use different types of food resources, which led them to become a huge and dominant society some 15,000 years ago.

Archaeologists at the Atlantic University of Florida (USA) revealed conclusive evidence confirming that around 15,000 years ago, an advanced and complex civilization existed in Peru. It had a very structured social organization and could be the oldest one established in the area.

The study published in the journal Science Advances was based on the discovery of hundreds of thousands of artifacts found between 2007 and 2013 in Huaca Prieta, an archaeological site on the Peruvian coast that houses one of the largest and oldest pyramids in South America—the Temple Mound of Huaca Prieta. Radiocarbon dating indicated the presence of humans in an “intermittent” period between 15,000 and 8,000 years ago.

Left: 10,500-year old fragment of a mat woven from rush stalks. Right: basket remnants retrieved from the Huaca Prieta site were made from diverse materials including a local reed that is still used today by modern basket makers. Image credit: Tom Dillehay, Vanderbilt University / Florida Atlantic University.

Mr. Adovasio says that the pieces recovered—food supplies, stone tools, ornamental baskets, and textiles—demonstrate the “pace of development” and the level of “knowledge and technology” used by the first inhabitants of the region which allowed them to exploit maritime and terrestrial resources.

“The mounds of artifacts retrieved from Huaca Prieta include food remains, stone tools and other cultural features such as ornate baskets and textiles, which really raise questions about the pace of the development of early humans in that region and their level of knowledge and the technology they used to exploit resources from both the land and the sea,” said James M. Adovasio, Ph.D., D.Sc., co-author of the study and a world acclaimed archaeologist at FAU’s Harbor Branch.

Simple one-sided stone tools used for cutting and scraping were found at the sites. Researchers estimate they are 13,500 to 15,000 years old.Tom Dillehay

For example, the variety of hooks discovered by experts demonstrates that this ancient civilization managed to fish at different depths, and therefore had developed vessels that were more resistant to turbulent waters. In addition, they combined the maritime exploitation with the production of crops like chile, avocado, and squash, obtaining a “great economic surplus”.

“These strings of events that we have uncovered demonstrate that these people had a remarkable capacity to utilize different types of food resources, which led to a larger society size and everything that goes along with it such as the emergence of bureaucracy and highly organized religion,” said Adovasio.

“To make these complicated textiles and baskets indicates that there was a standardized or organized manufacturing process in place and that all of these artifacts were much fancier than they needed to be for that time period,” said Adovasio.

“Like so many of the materials that were excavated, even the baskets reflect a level of complexity that signals a more sophisticated society as well as the desire for and a means for showing social stature. All of these things together tell us that these early humans were engaged in very complicated social relationships with each other and that these fancy objects all bespeak that kind of social messaging.”


Source: Ancient Peru: Major discovery of early human life

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