System of Hidden Passages Was Discovered Beneath 3,000-Year-Old Peruvian Temple

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Chavín de Huántar

In the Peruvian Andes, a team of archaeologists has discovered a network of hidden tunnels under the 3,000-year-old temple complex of Chavin de Huantar. The tunnels contain earlier forms of construction. They were made by the indigenous Chavin people that have not been seen before.

This pre-Inca site was built by the Chavin people, originally from the highlands of Peru, who first appeared in the Mosna Valley around 900 BC. and remained until about 250 BCE. In the Ancash region, the Chavín de Huántar temple complex was once a major religious and administrative center.

The Chavín de Huántar temple complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

In 2019, archaeologists from the Chavin de Huantar Archaeological Research and Preservation Program at Stanford University in California began investigating these passages through a small air duct using a robotic camera. With this technology, they found a gallery and a camera with an object in the center.

However, the studies were delayed due to the pandemic. Just last month, archaeologists were able to explore the gallery and a system of 35 connecting tunnels. According to archaeologist John Rick, who worked on the excavation team, the tunnels could have been built up to the temple’s main galleries.

Describing the Chavín de Huántar temple complex in a video for Reuters, Rick said that it is a passage, but it is completely different. This is a different form of construction. He also noted that it has features from earlier periods that were not previously visible in the aisles.

The passageways must have been built between 1200–200 BC. BC e. at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Andes.

Additionally, the object seen in the 2019 study turned out to be a stone bowl with a 3D carving of a condor’s head protruding from the side. In the Chavín de Huántar temple complex, the bowl and galleries were used for ceremonial purposes.

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