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23 julio 2014 3 23 /07 /julio /2014 22:57

Archaeologists in northern Peru have found a temple that was used by fishermen who set out to sea to hunt sharks over 3,000 years ago. The temple was unearthed in Pampas Gramalote, a community near Huanchaco, a fishing and surfing hub located just north of Trujillo.

 

 

Arqueólogos hallan un templo de cazadores de tiburones

 


 
Arqueólogos hallan un templo de cazadores de tiburones

Fue construido hace 3.500 años frente al mar de Huanchaco.
Domingo 20 de julio del 2014
Recientes excavaciones han permitido encontrar el templo donde hace 3.500 años los primeros pescadores de la aldea de Gramalote, asentados frente al mar de Huanchaquito, oficiaban sus misteriosos rituales. 
Se trata de una construcción de piedra hecha en la zona más alta del pueblo. Tiene en el centro un patio ceremonial, con gradas y lo que pudo ser una especie de estrado. Aún quedan las huellas de un fogón que posiblemente los aldeanos impidieron que se apagara por años.

También fueron hallados recintos privados en la parte posterior del templo. Lo especial de estos espacios es que un gran corredor los conectaba y el piso estuvo hecho de piedra.

Hasta hace poco se pensó que estos pobladores dedicados a la pesca de tiburones caminaban horas hasta la zona media del valle para rendir tributo a sus dioses en las pirámides conocidas hoy como Caballo Muerto y Huaca de los Reyes, en Laredo. Pero este hallazgo ha demostrado que en Gramalote tenían su templo y hasta quizá sus deidades.

El centro de la plaza estuvo techado con totora sostenida por cuatro postes. Aún se observan los hoyos cavados para sostenerlos y en estos los arqueólogos encontraron tres cadáveres de niños. Se presume que fueron sacrificados, una costumbre que se repitió después en las huacas del Sol y la Luna y, siglos más tarde, en Chan Chan.

¿Es posible que hace tres milenios ya haya existido la figura del gobernador o del sacerdote o del personaje encargado de encabezar los ritos? Y si existió, ¿dónde vivía y dónde está sepultado su cuerpo?

La hipótesis planteada por el arqueólogo Gabriel Prieto es que esta sociedad entraba en un proceso de transición. De una civilización en la que todos se dedicaban a pescar a que algunos pobladores comiencen a especializarse en los rituales, pero sin dejar del todo su actividad en el mar.

“A todos los adultos hombres que hemos desenterrado en Gramalote les creció un callo en el oído para proteger el tímpano. Eso ocurre en los hombres que se sumergen con mucha frecuencia en aguas frías. Pero uno de los personajes desenterrados en el templo no tiene este meato auditivo. Presumimos que en Gramalote no había sacerdotes a tiempo completo como los hubo en Huaca de la Luna siglos después, pero estaban en ese proceso de cambio”, explicó el arqueólogo.

Otro hecho que llamó la atención de Prieto es que en la mitad del templo se hallaron elementos masculinos como herramientas de pesca; y en la otra, femeninos como artefactos para hilar.
“Pensamos que este templo, además de haber concentrado grandes festines, fue un espacio para iniciar a los jóvenes y enseñarles cómo ser útiles en la sociedad”, dijo el investigador.

Los elementos relacionados a lo masculino y femenino fueron hallados en dos recintos hundidos, a los laterales de la plaza ceremonial. Se piensa que los jóvenes, hombres y mujeres, allí participaban en los rituales de iniciación. No hay iconografía o mayores evidencias al respecto.

 

http://cinabrio.over-blog.es/article-aldea-de-pescadores-de-tiburones-de-4-000-anos-de-costa-norte-del-peru-va-rebelando-sus-secretos-88010937.html

 

 

 

HOMBRES DE ROJO

Un hecho demostrado es que estos pescadores se teñían el cuerpo de rojo. Aunque aún resulta difícil determinar con qué fin, se cree que lo hacían antes de ir de pesca.

El año pasado, el arqueólogo Régulo Franco descubrió una mina en el cerro Campana. Se pensó que se trataba de cinabrio, pero la especialista en pigmentos del Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos Veronique Wright determinó que se trataba de hematita.

Coincidía esto con las piedras, los batanes, las cerámicas, las conchas y hasta los cadáveres teñidos de rojo que se encontraron en Gramalote. Los análisis minerales son contundentes. El material lo extraían de esta mina y luego lo procesaban moliéndolo y mezclándolo con grasa de lobo marino.

Justo uno de los siete cuerpos hallados en las tumbas del templo tenía los huesos del pecho de rojo y junto a él un pequeño recipiente de cerámica con rastros del pigmento.
“Está demostrado que los tiburones tienen un desarrollado sentido del olfato. Tal vez este pigmento impedía que estos animales huyeran advertidos por la presencia de los humanos”, explicó Prieto.

A pesar de estos descubrimientos, queda pendiente resolver quiénes tenían acceso a este templo, cuánto tiempo tomó su construcción, cuál fue su verdadera función y qué otros secretos seguirán enterrados en la zona aún inexplorada.

http://elcomercio.pe/peru/la-libertad/arqueologos-hallan-templo-cazadores-tiburones-noticia-1744225 

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Pampas Gramalote

 

Archaeologists Find Temple Used by Ancient Shark Hunters

July 22, 2014

Archaeologists in northern Peru have found a temple that was used by fishermen who set out to sea to hunt sharks over 3,000 years ago, according to daily El Comercio.

The temple was unearthed in Pampas Gramalote, a community near Huanchaco, a fishing and surfing hub located just north of Trujillo in La Libertad region.

Archaeologists say they believe the first fishermen from Gramalote used the temple some 3,500 years ago to perform rituals before heading out to sea.

The temple included private areas that were connected by hallways, as well as the remains of three children’s bodies, suggesting they were sacrificed, a practice that was common in later civilizations in the area. There was also evidence that a fire was set in the temple, that experts believe was kept burning for long periods of time, even years, by the fishermen.  Similar fire pits in temples have been found in other early civilizations, including at the 5000-year old El Paraiso site in Lima.

Prior to the discovery of the temple, archaeologists believed that the fishermen would walk long distances to a site in the middle of a nearby valley in order to provide offerings to the gods.

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Prieto, Gabriel, Archaeologist

 

Archaeologist Gabriel Prieto, a Yale doctoral candidate,  believes all men in the village were fishermen, but that a few of them gradually began to perform the religious rituals.

“We think that at Gramalote there were no full-time priests like there were in Huaca de la Luna centuries later, but they were in the process of changing,” he said.

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Pampas Gramalote is an extraordinary site, but like many sites in northern Peru’s rich prehispanic heritage, urban growth has seriously encroached on the area.

To protect the site, Prieto and his team are working with the support of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, incorporating the local population in the process not only of working on the site but in creating and developing a tourist center, store and ‘cultural park.’  Under Prieto’s guidance,  the center has already become economically sustainable since it opened two years ago. Activities include teaching local artisans,  young and adult, to carve gourds and create other artwork as their ancestors did .

  Peruvian Times – News from Peru

 

 

Moche IV ceramic bottle showing shark

Moche IV ceramic bottle showing a god fishing a shark. Courtesy of the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera, Lima, Peru

- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/temple-discovery-peru-sheds-light-life-ancient-shark-hunters-001875#!bk5wc6

 

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Moche sculptural stirrup spout bottle showing a man riding a shark

 

Temple Discovery in Peru Sheds Light on Life of Ancient Shark Hunters

 

Archaeologists in Peru have discovered a 3,500-year-old temple belonging to the first fishermen of Gramalote, a village of shark hunters on the sea near Huanchaquito, according to a report in Peru This Week. Until recently, it was believed that the villagers travelled for hours to get to their temples. However, the latest finding reveals that the fishermen had their own temple where they carried out ritual ceremonies.

Excavations of the temple, which is located in the highest area of the town, unearthed a central ceremonial patio with steps and what appears to be a platform. At the back of the temple are private areas connected by a long hallway. Post holes and remnants of totora reeds suggest that the centre of the plaza was given shade by a roof made from the reeds held up by posts. The bodies of three children were found in the post holes, most likely sacrifice victims.

In one half of the temple, researchers found male-associated artifacts, like fishing tools, while in the other half, they found female-associated objects, like tools for weaving.  “We think that, in this temple, in addition to being the setting for large celebrations, was a place where young people were brought together so they could be taught how to be a productive member of society,” said archaeologist Gabriel Prieto.

Until recently, it was believed that the townspeople of Gramalote, who spent their time hunting sharks, walked for hours to get to their temples.  For example, evidence suggests the fishing village specialised in the systematic production of marine food which was then imported to the ceremonial centre of Caballo Muerto, creating an economic interdependency between the two sites.  Gramalote may even have been a colony set up especially to ensure a continuous supply of marine products for the inland complex (Prieto, 2010). However, the latest finding indicates that, in addition to attending ceremonial centres inland, the villagers of Gramalote also carried out their own rituals at a temple located right in the village.

Previous research carried out by Prieto revealed that shark hunting played a central role in the culture of Gramalote (Prieto, 2010).  The remains of fish bones in dwellings has shown that the most abundant meat came from blue shark, sand shark, and stingray.  These three species are also the ones which are represented most frequently in ritual caches. For example, excavations uncovered a ritual offering of a sand shark placed upon a reed mat in one dwelling, and an offering of ground shells covered with a sea lion bone wrapped with a portion of sand shark vertebrae in another dwelling. Human burials have also been found with shark remains, as well as other marine offerings.

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Sea lion femur and blue shark vertebrae

Left: Sea lion femur and blue shark vertebrae. Right: Shark tooth found with burial (Prieto, 2010)

Prieto has suggested that the reasons for using marine products as offerings could have been related to the need to maintain ocean productivity and to satisfy the gods who possibly ruled this productivity.

“I would like to suggest that early fishermen used their most valuable sources of food as offerings. It is also possible to argue that in fact, they considered sacred these marine species; probably as part of a marine cosmos which was exploited to satisfy their subsistence and spiritual necessities,” wrote Prieto in his paper published in 2010.

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..................................................Moche IV ceramic bottle showing shark

 

Moche IV ceramic bottle showing a god fishing a shark. Courtesy of the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera, Lima, Peru

Prieto has suggested that the newly-discovered temple may also indicate a hierarchy-based society in which a priest or other authority was in charge of performing rights. Earlier discoveries showed that all of the adult men had a condition of the ear caused by spending a lot of time submerged in cold water. But human remains discovered in the temple do not have this feature. Prieto has hypothesized that Gramalote was entering a period of transition from a civilization in which everyone sustained themselves through fishing to a society in which some members had specialties, including those involving ceremony and ritual.

Featured image: Moche sculptural stirrup spout bottle showing a man riding a shark (100 – 800 AD). Credit: Museo Nacional de Arqueología Antropología e Historia del Perú

Reference:

Prieto, G. (2010). Characterizing ritual activities in an early fishing village of the Peruvian North Coast. Paper presented to the 29th Northeast Conference on Andean Archaeology and Ethnohistory.

 

 

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/temple-discovery-peru-sheds-light-life-ancient-shark-hunters-001875#!bk5wc6

 

 

Moche IV ceramic bottle showing a god fishing a shark. Courtesy of the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera, Lima, Peru - See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/temple-discovery-peru-sheds-light-life-ancient-shark-hunters-001875#!bk5wc6

http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-buried-city-ancient-artifacts-uncovered-in-northern-peru-13138

 

 

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http://sanjosedemoro.pucp.edu.pe/02english/01bibliografia.html

* Malcolm Allison H  2014

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