Photo of the Week

Finds from a recent discovery of an elite tomb built to be flooded periodically in ancient times in order to ensure the region’s agricultural fertility. Photo courtesy of Carlos Wester La Torre, Bruning National Archaeological Museum. Also used at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/09/120605-inca-peru-priestess-tomb-water-cult-science/.

Chotuna-Chornancap, Peru, one of SPI’s newest project sites, is a stunning 235-acre monumental temple and pyramid complex that spans nearly 1,500 years of history. Just this past August, archaeologists discovered a remarkable burial over 1,000 years old containing such precious items as pearl and shell beads and gold earspools amongst four corpses, the face of one covered with a copper sheet. Unlike any other tomb of a revered person in the region, this one was likely built by an ancient water cult and meant to be flooded periodically, perhaps as a means of ensuring the region’s agricultural fertility (see National Geographic article here).

The community living near the archaeological site of Chotuna, Peru, is very poor, with no electricity, sewer system, or even clean water. Our project empowers local entrepreneurs as it invests in local cotton textile artisans, constructing a facility for artisan training and production as well as a small picnic and sales area for their work near the archaeological site. The project will also build a store and showroom for these handicrafts in the Bruning National Archaeological Museum in the nearby city of Lambayeque, as well as guidebooks and brochures for the site.

This Black Friday, consider starting your holiday giving with a contribution to SPI! Help us transform lives and save the site of Chotuna-Chornancap by donating here.

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