Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Caral Figurines

Caral, in modern-day Peru, a center of settlement and substantial ruins dating back at least 5,000 years ago, and so a contemporary of Indus, Egypt, Sumer, but younger that Catalhoyuk and the civilizations of Old Europe.

Reported on at enperublog.com
The Caral Figurines
October 16, 2010

[Excerpted] The first civilizations in the Americas had their origins in the northern coastal valleys of the Peruvian coast, thousands of years before the Olmecs of Mexico. Only proven in the last decade thanks to the work of Ruth Shady at Caral, dozens of even older sites have now been discovered.

Caral, principal city of a civilization that has its founding traced back as far as 5000 years has given up a number of amazing surprises, one being the earliest quipu ever found which completely changed researcher’s ideas on their development and their age.

Not stopping there, Caral’s ancient people have offered up new opportunities for researchers to investigate.

The discoveries have also highlighted the importance women had in social structures, as evidenced by two statues discovered in recent years in the nearby site of Miraya of a priestess and her male companion. The woman, of high social status is shown in a solemn position in lavish attire and with many ornaments. The male is clearly shown to be waiting on her decision.

It seems women in these earliest of civilisations were often found in positions of importance, something seen in many of Peru ancient cultures.

So far, archaeologists in the Supe valley have found over 150 figurines, all made of unbaked clay from 5 to 11 cm in height.
For more information on the Caral civilization, please visit the links at the end of the article.

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