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7,000-year-old high altitude site found in Peru

A new site found 12,500 feet above sea level in Peru suggests that hunter-gatherers lived at that elevation year-round. In the Andes Mountains of Peru, the air is gaspingly thin, the climate harsh. Now archaeologists have evidence that humans lived there full-time at least 7,000 years ago, making themselves at home

New study shows early Andeans ate corn

New evidence has revealed that maize was actively grown, processed, and eaten by people in the Andes 5,000 years ago. It had previously been thought that early Andeans depended upon marine resources for food. In their paper, the team explained that the first stage of identifying the botanical remains taken from

Mummified teenage Incan girl suffered from respiratory infection

An analysis of a 15-year-old Incan girl who died 500 years ago shows that she suffered from a chronic respiratory infection. The team swabbed the lips of two Andean Inca mummies, buried at 22,000-feet elevation and originally discovered in 1999, and compared the proteins they found to large databases of the

Llama droppings aided in the rise of the Incas

New research is suggesting that the Inca used llama droppings to fertilize their crops, allowing them to grow at high altitudes. In the June issue of Antiquity, paleoecologist Alex Chepstow-Lusty of the Institut Français d’Etudes Andines in Lima, presents findings from a lake sediment core showing that farmers near Cuzco began

Andean mummy tattoos marked acupuncture points

Pretty tatoos found on a 1,000-year-old Andean mummy may have been used to mark accupuncture points. The female mummy in the study is much more recent, from about 1,000 B.C., and bore tattooed animals like "birds, apes, reptiles in addition to symbols." Rings were tattooed on four of the fingers

Andean mummies suffered from arsenic poisoning

Analysis of the hair taken from 45 Andean mummies shows the people suffered from arsenic poisoning. In the current Journal of Archaeological Science, a team led by Bernardo Arriaza of Chile's Universidad de Tarapaca analyzed hair from 45 Andean mummies taken from ten sites some 7,000 to 600 years old.

Bolivian pyramid’s makeover mistake

In a bid to attract more tourists, the town of Tiwanaku in Bolvia restored an ancient pre-Columbian pyramid. However, they made a major mistake when they rebuilt it using adobe instead of stone. Now, the Akapana pyramid risks losing its designation as a U.N. World Heritage Site, and there is concern