Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Animal Effigy Mounds in Peru?

So, does this shed any light on whether mound building spread from the north to the south, or from the south to the north? Or was it concurrent in both Peru and North America? And if so, does that say anything about possible immigration patterns from the Old World to the New World?

Mysterious Animal-Shaped Structures Are Oldest Known

Date: 29 March 2012 Time: 12:11 PM ET

Manmade mounds shaped like orcas, condors and even a duck may be the oldest evidence of animal mounds outside of North America, according to former University of Missouri anthropologist.

Writing in the magazine Antiquity, Robert Benfer, a professor emeritus, describes a series of mounds, some more than 1,300 feet (400 meters) across, in coastal valleys in Peru. Archaeological evidence at the sites pegs some at more than 4,000 years old.

"It's going to shake everybody's views," Benfer told LiveScience. "The previous oldest animal figures were at Nazca and they're 2,000 years old."

The Nazca Lines are simple stone outlines of animals decorating the Nazca Desert in Peru. Like the newly discovered mounds, they may have had ritual significance. In addition, the shapes likely coincided with the constellations these ancient people saw in the Milky Way.

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