Inca Llama Carving Recovered From Depths of Lake Titicaca
In the 15th or 16th century, members of the Inca civilization fashioned a stone box filled with sacred offerings and dropped it deep into Lake Titicaca. It remained there, undisturbed, for some 500 years.
The box was remarkably well preserved upon its rediscovery several years ago, acting as a time capsule for the team that found it on the Bolivian side of the South American lake. Now, a new study published in the journal Antiquity argues that through such offerings, the Inca sought to symbolically and politically reclaim sacred spaces.
Researchers found the stone box, made of a local volcanic stone called andesite, on a reef about 18 feet below the surface, reports A.R. Williams for National Geographic. Its concave offering cavity was sealed with a round stone plug and coated in sediment, suggesting the container hadn’t been disturbed since it was lowered into the lake centuries ago.
Inside, the team found a small, coral-colored figurine of a llama made from the shell of a rare spiny oyster. Also present was a rolled, paper clip-sized cylinder of gold sheeting that may be a miniature replica of a chipana, or bracelet …read more: