Divers Discover Ancient Inca Offerings in Lake Titicaca


Christophe Delaere, a Belgian archaeologist, and his team of diving archaeologists have discovered Inca treasures in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

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Divers find Inca and Tiwanaku offerings under water in Lake Titicaca bordering Bolivia and Peru – October 2013 (AP Photo/Ministry of Culture of Bolivia)

A team of diving archaeologists under the direction of Belgian Christophe Delaere (FNRS, ULB) has revealed this summer deposits of pre-Columbian offerings in the waters of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Perfectly preserved under a layer of sediment and debris, nearly 2,500 objects and fragments were discovered, including intact ceramics and pieces including gold and other precious materials. The research process was followed by the director and producer Belgian Frederic Cordier, who draw a documentary film expected in 2014.“Archaeologists divers methodically stripped the layers of the lagoon bottom in two polls”.

An underwater robot to help archaeologists

The location of the underwater site had made it difficult to search – more than 3,800 meters above sea level. To explore places too dangerous for divers, an underwater robot has even been developed in order to collect data in the bottom of the lagoon.

Divers find Inca and Tiwanaku offerings under water in Lake Titicaca bordering Bolivia and Peru -  October 2013
These archaeological pieces made of gold were found by a team of Belgian and Bolivian archaeologists at an apparent ceremonial site beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca, which was sacred for the Incas and Tiwanakus. (AP Photo/Ministry of Culture of Bolivia)

Items dropped during ceremonies deposits offerings

The artifacts were deposited in the lake intentionally during ceremonies. Offerings gathered at the deposit help archaeologists reconstructing the history back to the 6th century BC. Successive eras and periods have been dated including Inca and Tiwanaku.

The release note states: “The presence of shells imported from the equatorial Pacific coastline and lapis lazuli from Chile shows the importance and complexity of regional and continental trade maintained during the pre-Inca times. Moreover, it points to a complete mastery of metallurgy (gold objects and alloys) yet unsuspected until now for certain periods.

Two weeks ago a huge underwater pyramid was found near the Azores Islands.

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