Archaeologists discover a 3500 year old temple of fishermen in northwest Peru

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Thursday July 24, 2014
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During recent archeological findings, they discovered a temple where the first shark fishermen in Gramalote, a village situated in the north-west Peruvian province Trujillo, completed their mysterious rituals.

It is a brick construction built in the highest area of the village. The temple exists of a ceremonial patio with tribunes and something that could be a podium. They found as well private spaces in the back of the temple, all connected by a hallway.

The center of the square had a roof made out of totora, a typical Peruvian water plant, which was supported by four piles. In these holes, the archeologists found three bodies of children. They suppose they were sacrificed because this was a later often used ritual in the Temple of the Sun and the
Temple of the Moon, two temples built by the Moche civilization between AD100 and AD800, and much later in Chan- Chan, an archeological site built by the Chimor civilization around AD850.

This finding is really interesting because before they believed that these fishermen walked for hours to honor their gods in the pyramids nowadays known as ‘Caballo Muerto’ and ‘Huaca de los Reyes’, archeological complexes in the Moche Valley built by the Cupisnique culture between 1500 and 400BC. But this discovery shows us that they had their own temple in Gramalote and, who knows, their own gods.

The archeologist Gabriel Prieto suspects that this society was in a transitional phase in which most people were completely dedicated to fishing and some started specializing in ceremonies.

Another interesting fact is that all the bodies they excavated before in Gramalote had a hard skin in the ear that protects the eardrum for cold water meanwhile the bodies recently found in the temple, they do not have that.

Another fact that attracts the archeologists’ attention is the fact they found in one half of the temple masculine elements, such as tools to fish, and in the other half, female elements, such as tools to spin. Because of this they believe young people, girls and boys, learned here how to be useful in the society.

Something else they discovered is that these fishermen painted themselves red. They do not know yet for which purpose, although they suppose they did this before going to fish.

In spite of all these discoveries, there are still a lot of unsolved mysteries, such as the questions who had access to this temple, how long it took to build it or what it real function was.

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