America’s oldest adobe architecture in Peru: ‘Los Morteros’ and its more than 6,000-year history

America’s oldest adobe architecture in Peru: ‘Los Morteros’ and its more than 6,000-year history
The oldest archaeological discovery in the Americas is in Peru. (Photo: Andina)

within the limits Peru is seen Archaeological site Oldest in America. Recent radiocarbon dating analysis of botanical, faunal and human remains suggests that ‘Los Morteros’, a monumental complex located in the Sao Valley of La Libertad region on the north coast of Peru, at least 6 thousand years old. Its discovery was possible in 1976 Archaeologist Mercedes Cardenas And his research team identified a fossil mound at the mound, which was used as a burial mound by the pre-ceramic people of the area.

This architectural complex was mostly built in Apobi. Inside, thanks to the continuous excavations carried out at the site over the years, they have been discovered, Objects of ritual use.

They include sculptures made of wood and sea lion bones, stone bowls, cotton etc. Likewise, plant remains (maize, beans, pumpkin, chili, avocado, lucuma, guava, carob) and marine fauna (bonito fish, stingray, shark, molluscs) were found, which offer great opportunity in farming and agriculture. The food of the invaders told the territory thousands of years ago.

Among the objects were wooden sculptures and bones of sea lions, stone bowls, cotton, etc. (Photo: Andina)

Finally, archaeologists realized what they had discovered Skeletons of seven childrenIt shows signs of being burned, and Skeletal remains of two adults. It is not ruled out that they were offered as offerings to some gods.

Director of this important archaeological research project, Ana Cecilia Mauricionotified to Andean Agency That is, despite all that has been discovered since excavations began in 2012, only 15% of the area has been intervened. “There is so much more to explore, explore and discover,” he noted.

Archaeologist Ana Cecilia Mauricio excavates the Los Morteros archaeological site. (Photo: Andina)

The site in question Los Morteros Archaeological ComplexLocated in the Chao valley of the region Independence, on the north coast of Peru. It was originally believed to date back 5,000 years.

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“Radiocarbon dating can tell the age of an archaeological site. Recent dates have placed the Los Morteros archaeological site at 6,000 to 5,000 years old. This is slightly older than the results obtained in previous seasons. “This is the oldest adobe monument on the continent so far reported,” Mauricio said.

The site of Los Morteros is located on the southern edge of the lower Sao Valley, on the alluvial plain known as Pampa de las Salinas, along the edge of the fossiliferous coastline. “Last year, during the last excavation season, we were dedicated to the analysis of the archaeological remains discovered at the end of 2021,” said Ana Cecilia Mauricio.

“Equally or even more important than the findings of the excavation is the analysis of what has been found that contains reliable information about what is said about the archaeological site,” the expert said.

According to information collected by experts, this archaeological site was built during the Preceramic period. (Photo: Andina)

He leads a multidisciplinary team of archaeologists, researchers, and experts in various types of analysis who help reconstruct the history of this place of ancestral origin and learn how its inhabitants lived, as well as their relationship with the environment.

Scientific journal PNAS and Nature In 2021 Adobe published an article on architecture and the advances made up to that point, including radiocarbon dating.

Since that date, “new excavations have been carried out, and we have recorded new dates indicating that the beginning of human occupation at Los Morteros dates back 6,000 years to the present,” the archaeologist said. However, it may be even older, because we have not yet been able to excavate the first moments of occupation of the archaeological site. “Each time we dig further, we identify and date the larger period of the site,” he asserted.

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According to the information collected by the experts, this archaeological site was built during that time Preceramic period. It was discovered in 1976 thanks to archaeologists Mercedes GardenasAnd his research team identified a step mound in the middle of the desert.

A fossil mound was discovered in this mound, 200 meters long, 15 meters wide and 15 meters high, covered by aeolian sand. Funeral area By the pre-ceramic people of the region.

Thanks to excavations that began in 2012, the artificial nature of the mound and successive phases of occupation, including monumental architecture, were discovered. (Photo: Andina)

Excavations, which began in 2012, revealed the artificial nature of the mound and successive phases of occupation, including monumental architecture. It means used to do Collective rites and rituals.

Different seasons of research Mortars The creation of this site allowed us to reconstruct the process in which location, context and chronology played a relevant role.

Also, experts consider the site to be an important place to understand the processes involved in the development of monumental architecture. Peruvian Andes. “This is the oldest adobe monument on the continent so far reported,” said the project director.

To verify the age of the fossils and everything found in this adobe architectural complex, samples were sent to two laboratories in the United States, and the results showed that the sculptures were made between 5,500 and 5,100 years old. “This has not been previously reported at other archaeological sites on the Peruvian coast.”He insisted.

Based on the botanical analysis of the vegetables and marine fauna found, these show that ‘Los Morteros’ practiced agriculture and crops. “We have done analyzes that reveal the presence of important crops like maize, beans, cotton, pumpkin and chillies. The existence of very old agriculture is becoming increasingly importantAlso, fruit trees collected in nearby areas such as avocado, lucuma, guava and caraway,” he said.

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He said it also showed that the site had an ecosystem of “luxuriant riverine vegetation with carob forests and certain types of vegetation”.

Likewise, to Ana Cecilia Mauricio Andina, the analysis of microscopic remains of plants was carried out by experts such as a doctor from Harvard University (USA) and an archaeologist from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Analysis of seed residues. “The combination of these analyzes with radiocarbon dating allows us to be certain when we begin to see cultivated plants at the Los Morteros archaeological site.” I notice.

He emphasized that this is only the beginning of research on this architectural piece, which may indicate that it is the oldest in America.

Archaeologist Ana Cecilia Mauricio announced that she is currently writing Article Citing radiocarbon dating results between 5,300 and 5,100 years ago, as well as bioarchaeological analysis of these botanical, animal and human remains, it is expected to be published in a scientific journal in 2024.


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