Peruvian officials announced on Friday that archeologists unearthed a burial site this week near the city of Cusco containing human remains that were more than 3,000 years old.
According to the Peruvian news agency Andina, this is the first discovery of human remains from the ancient Marcavalle society, a pre-Incan culture about which very little is known.
Two adults and an adolescent child were buried in the ancient crypt, which also contained a number of artifacts. The bodies were buried with tools fashioned from obsidian and animal bones, as well as beaded necklaces and ceramic fragments.
The burial site was discovered on property belonging to a juvenile rehabilitation center.
According to the History Blog, the Marcavalle culture flourished around 1,000 B.C., but little is known about it. Fragments of pottery and tools unearthed in 1953 in the Peruvian town of Marcavalle were the first clues that the civilization had existed at all.
“These are the first funerary contexts found intact in 50 years of studies and research on the Formative period that will allow us to reinterpret the process of cultural evolution in the Cuzco Valley,” said Ricardo Ruiz Caro, head of the Decentralized Department of Culture of Cuzco.
The oldest evidence of human DNA ever found dated back 400,000 years and was found in a complex of caves in Spain’s Atapuerca mountains in 2013.
[image of skull unearthed in archeological dig via Shutterstock.com]