Peru

The mummified remains of eight children, who may have been sacrificed, was found near the tomb of an elite individual of pre-Incan society.

Cool Finds

Eight Mummified Children Found in Peru May Have Been Sacrificed in an Ancient Funeral Ritual

The remains were discovered in the tomb of an elite member of a pre-Inca city buried 1,200 years ago

Roughly 500 years ago, vertebrae were arranged on sticks in Peruvian tombs.

Why Did 16th-Century Andean Villagers String Together the Bones of Their Ancestors?

Researchers suggest the practice was a response to Spanish conquistadors' desecration of the remains

This is the first chick fostered by same-sex penguin parents at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York.

Meet Elmer and Lima, a Same-Sex Penguin Couple Fostering a Chick at a Syracuse Zoo

The two male birds are 'exemplary' parents, says the zoo’s director

The oil slick in the ocean extended an area of over 320 football fields and has dirtied waters and beaches, resulting in many dead birds and seals washing up onshore.
 

Tsunami-Triggered Oil Spill Devastates Marine Wildlife on Peru's Coast After Volcanic Eruption in Tonga

The country declared a 90-day environmental emergency after 264,000 gallons of crude oil contaminated a biodiverse swath of its coastal ecosystems

Researchers have yet to confirm the mummy's gender but say the deceased was likely a man who died between the ages of 25 and 30.

Archaeologists Unearth 800-Year-Old Mummy in Peru

Scholars are studying the remains in hopes of learning more about the Indigenous peoples who lived in the region prior to the rise of the Inca Empire

Most of the people buried at the site were woman and children.

Mass Grave of Women, Children Found in Pre-Hispanic City in Peru

Buried in the Chimú Empire capital of Chan Chan, some of the deceased were interred with needles and sewing tools

The mask was found atop the detached skull of a man who appears to have been an elite leader.

1,000-Year-Old Mask Was Painted With Human Blood

The gold mask found in Peru was used in the burial of an elite leader from the Sicán culture

Previous research has largely drawn on texts created by Spanish colonizers.

New Research

Machu Picchu Is Older Than Previously Thought, Radiocarbon Dating Suggests

New research indicates that the Inca settlement was in continuous use from at least 1420 to 1530

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

The Algodón River flows through a forest of the Amazon Basin in the remote northeastern corner of Peru. Scientists collected and analyzed a series of ten roughly 3-foot-long soil cores from three sites, each located at least a half-mile away from river courses and floodplains.

Future of Conservation

In a Remote Amazon Region, Study Shows Indigenous Peoples Have Practiced Forest Conservation for Millennia

Smithsonian researcher Dolores Piperno says native people have always played an important role in sustainability

Retouched composite image of the mural and its surroundings

Cool Finds

3,200-Year-Old Mural of Knife-Wielding Spider God Found in Peru

Local farmers accidentally destroyed 60 percent of the shrine complex that houses the ancient Cupisnique painting

Chinchero is an agrarian town about 45-minutes outside of Cusco known for its striking landscape of snow-capped mountains and lagoons connected by a system of wetlands, as well as its Inca ruins and famous Sunday market.

The Uphill Battle to Stop Peru From Building a New Airport Near Machu Picchu

Opinions are divided in the agrarian town of Chinchero, where the airport is slated to open in 2025

A new book  Incredible Archaeology: Inspiring Places From Our Human Past, out this month from Smithsonian Books, explores some of the world's most spectacular ancient wonders.

Twelve Ancient and Enduring Places Around the World

From Smithsonian Books, towering temples, dramatic works of art and early settlements that have stood the test of time

The llamas were preserved through natural mummification, leaving their colorful decorations intact.

Sacrificed Llamas Found in Peru Were Likely a Gift From the Inca

The elaborately decorated animals were probably buried alive alongside similarly adorned guinea pigs

“[It] was about to disappear because it’s situated on quite a steep slope that’s prone to the effects of natural erosion,” Peru's Ministry of Culture explains.

Cool Finds

2,000-Year-Old Nazca Line Featuring Lounging Cat Found in Peru

The enormous glyph is one of hundreds of ancient etchings scattered across the arid region

An empty Machu Picchu pictured on June 15, 2020. Travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have decimated Peru's tourism industry.

Covid-19

Machu Picchu Reopens for a Single Stranded Tourist

Jesse Katayama, 26, waited seven months for his chance to see the mountainous 15th-century Inca settlement

Bronze-tailed Comet (Polyonymus caroli) perched on a cactus in Peru.

New Research

Hummingbirds in the Andes Go to Chilly Extremes for a Good Night’s Sleep

The longer a bird spent in a state of torpor, the less body mass it lost overnight

The Moai sculptures on Rapa Nui are at risk of collapsing into the ocean as coastal erosion continues.

New Tool Tracks Climate Change's Impact on World Heritage Sites

The online portal showcases the craggy cliffs surrounding Edinburgh Castle, Easter Island's famed sculptures and other cultural heritage hotspots

The Pachacamac Idol, a 1200-year-old wooden carving that held spiritual significance to the Inca

This Inca Idol Survived the Spanish Conquest. 500 Years Later, Archaeologists Are Unveiling Its History

A new analysis suggests the Pachacamac Idol, once thought destroyed, is probably older—and less bloody—than once believed

This carving is the first Nazca Line to be identified by artificial intelligence.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Identify 143 New Nazca Lines

The trove of newly documented geoglyphs includes a humanoid figure identified by artificial intelligence

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