LIMA – A team of archaeologists from Peru’s Culture Ministry has presented the first of the approximately 4,000-year-old objects it discovered at the El Paraiso archaeological complex, the most ancient in Lima, project director Joaquin Narvaez told EFE.
The specialist said that during the first four months of the dig his team found a ceramic fragment and the tomb of a woman, along with gems, tools and food remains.
“Pursuing this investigation has allowed us to answer some questions we had about this archaeological site from the Late Preceramic Period,” the archaeologist said.
El Paraiso is an archaeological complex in the Lima district of San Martin de Porres, which covers 41 hectares (101 acres) and consists of 12 buildings including pyramidal structures that were in use during five different periods.
Among the principal finds is the head of a ceramic figure that belongs, according to Narvaez, to the final phase of Peruvian prehistory.
“That a ceramic object should turn up among remains from the Late Preceramic Period shows us one of the earliest attempts by the first inhabitants of this complex to fire clay in order to harden it,” he said.
Another discovery presented by the team was the tomb of a woman some 30 to 35 years old who stood no taller than 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches), which was unearthed during excavations at Building 4.
Judging by the objects buried with the woman, the experts determined that she worked at making textiles and that her diet consisted mainly of fish and seafood.
The archaeological dig at El Paraiso, which has cost more than 4 million soles ($1.17 million), is being carried out as part of a public-private contract signed by the Culture Ministry and the Andres del Castillo Museum.