Bizarre Artifacts Were Discovered In Ancient Inca Cemetery At 3,000 Meters Altitude In Ecuador

The discovery of twelve bones in an Inca “field” in Latacunga, Ecuador’s heartland, might give insight into the uses and methods of living during the Andean intercolonial era, which has hitherto been sustained almost entirely by historical sources in academic research.

When the excavation began, they discovered old human bones, and when an archaeological team was sent in for a salvage mission, they discovered more skeletons in the ground. However, the skeletal remains of humans who lived around 500 years ago are only one part of the narrative. A few unusual objects discovered in the old Inca graveyard have raised fresh mysteries for local archaeologists to investigate.

Mulaló discovery

The remains were discovered five centuries ago in Mulaló, one of the ten rural parishes of the Latacunga canton, at an altitude of 2,900 meters, during an archaeological salvage operation that began during the construction of an irrigation water tank.

“It constitutes a significant contribution because this specific period has received little archaeological attention, solely from the standpoint of history,” said Esteban Acosta, the operation’s lead archaeologist. It spans around 100 years, from 1450 to 1540, and encompasses the colonial transition from the Inca period to the Spanish colony.

Artifacts that are perplexing

Researchers came to this conclusion based on several typical Inca pottery containers that also included a Christian cross and the letter “W.” Is it possible that the “W” may be referring to a name? a location? Is it only an ornamental shape? “This style of ornamentation has never been seen before, therefore we believe it dates from the time of the Spanish colonial transition,” Acosta explains.

Among the items discovered were arbalos, a type of jug with a long neck and a conical base that was used to pour chicha, a traditional drink. Some “beaker” containers from that time period, without handles, have also been discovered and were used to drink, similar to glass.

“This style of design has not been seen before, therefore we believe it is from the Spanish colonial transition,” Acosta explained. He thinks that following laboratory study, the discovery will aid in obtaining knowledge on “how people lived at the time,” as main sources on these societies are historical rather than archaeological.

Other archaeological sites, including an Inca wall, have led to various investigations in the province of Cotopaxi, where the find was found in a rural region at a depth of less than a meter. Other civilizations exist because “before the Incas, there existed the panzaleos,” he continued, referring to a culture that stretches from Quito in the north to Tungurahua in the south.

Inca court, rectangular

On this occasion, it was the mayor of Latacunga, Byron Cárdenas, who used a portion of the national budget for archaeological study. He prioritized history and engaged Acosta to begin in-depth research.

The initial finding was made in 2019 during preliminary research, which resulted in the suggestion for a larger-scale operation before constructing the irrigation water tank that had been demanded by the people for more than 10 years.

“We uncovered a rectangular Inca court spanning 13 meters east-west and 7 meters north-south, as well as a conglomerate of soil and clay that serves as the structure’s foundation,” the researcher stated.

The Inca “fields” are ancient structures that served as a structural basis for residences and fortresses (some research dates them back thousands of years). They may be found all across the Andean area.

In the high zone of the Andes, however, they used to be made of stone, as opposed to the coastal locations.

Acosta noted that the blocks are missing in this case because “they were hauled away to build residences and just a little portion of the foundation was left.”

Twelve corpses were discovered badly degraded owing to water filtering in the enclosure excavated in Mulaló. Nonetheless, following laboratory investigation, they will be utilized to identify whether or not they belong to the same family group.

“What is in better shape are practically all of their teeth,” Acosta said, emphasizing the opportunities for genetic and morphological research.

During this first stage of the investigation, certain conclusions have been drawn that they are bones from the same time period, ranging between 50 and 100 years. However, only DNA testing will validate the familial affiliation, gender, and age of the persons discovered.

A ring found in one of the bones has also gotten a lot of attention. Acosta says he doesn’t know what it’s made of, but it’s “neither copper nor a recognized metal,” and he’s certain it’s not related to the ancient Inca culture.

Acosta believes that additional excavation of the discoveries will reveal new archaeological evidence on what life was like in this region during the Spanish invasion and transition to colonial authority.

This is significant since the majority of the knowledge on the changeover era that is currently available originates from historical sources.

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