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Thursday April 18, 2024

Pre-Pharaoh 4,700-year-old megalithic plaza unearthed in Peru

Jason Toohey-led team found the megalithic plaza, nestled atop a mountain in Peru in Callacpuma archaeological site

By Web Desk
February 17, 2024
The circular plaza is at centre with the modern city of Cajamarca in the background. — Ancient Pages/Jason Toohey.
The circular plaza is at centre with the modern city of Cajamarca in the background. — Ancient Pages/Jason Toohey. 

Have you ever wondered what secrets lie beneath the ancient rocks that dot our planet's landscapes? 

In a recent archaeological revelation, a team led by Jason Toohey stumbled upon a remarkable piece of history — a 4,700-year-old megalithic plaza, nestled atop a mountain in Peru.

Dating back to 2850 B.C., this ceremonial space, discovered in the Callacpuma archaeological site, boasts an intriguing design with large, upright stones forming concentric circles. Archaeologists believe it served as a gathering place for the earliest inhabitants of the Cajamarca Valley, providing insight into their rituals and ceremonies.

According to Toohey, the lead archaeologist on the project, "It was probably a gathering place and ceremonial location for some of the earliest people living in this part of the Cajamarca Valley." 

The plaza, with a circular interior featuring enclosed rooms, suggests controlled access, hinting at the significance of the rituals performed within.

Excavations brought to light an array of artifacts, including pottery fragments, cuplike vessels, quartz crystals, and carefully stacked bowls — perhaps offerings to mark the formal closure of the plaza's entrances. This extraordinary find not only predates the Great Pyramids of Egypt but also aligns with the construction of Stonehenge.

Callacpuma, situated in the Cajamarca Valley in northern Peru, has now etched its place in history as one of the oldest structures of its kind in the Americas. Unlike other circular plazas found in the Andes mountains, this one defies convention, standing tall and deviating from the sunken designs prevalent in the region.

The discovery, made in 2015, has been a meticulous journey, with excavations continuing until 2022. The research team, including Melissa Murphy, Patricia Chirinos Ogata, Sarah Stagg, and Alex Garcia-Putnam, has unraveled a narrative that challenges our understanding of ancient civilizations in the Americas.