The box was discovered in Lake Titicaca
This 500-year-old stone box of Inca offerings was found by divers in the Bolivian half of Lake Titicaca. It contains a miniature llama made from mollusc shell and a cylindrical gold foil thought to be a tiny version of an Incan bracelet.
Christophe Delaere at Free University of Brussels in Belgium and his colleagues think the box and its contents were part of a human sacrifice offering to the lake, as similar pairings of objects have been found in areas associated with Incan sacrifices. “This discovery extends the concept of ‘sacrality’ to the entire lake,” says Delaere.
The Incas ruled large parts of South America from the early 13th century until the Spanish invaded in the late 1500s. Underwater offerings were mentioned in books by Spanish colonisers, but no intact artefacts have been found until now.
Journal reference: Antiquity, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2020.121
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