Chavin de Huantar (Pérou): Archeologists discover two stone sculptures

Diego M. Ortiz

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The sculptures are in the shape of decorative heads and weigh around 250 kg.



Two stone sculptures believed to date back to 1200-1500 B.C. were discovered at the Chavin de Huantar archeological site in Huaraz, according to the team led by Dr. John Rick, an archeologist from the United States.

The sculptures, which are in the shape of decorative heads, measure approximately 103 centimeters in length and weigh around 250 kilograms. The heads were found approximately two meters from one another.

These were not the first such heads discovered in the Chavin Huantar site. In 1920 an archeologist named Julio C. Tello found a large number of “cabezas clavas” that were buried inside the façade of the temples. Many of them were swept away and lost in a flood that covered the site in 1940.

Today, only one of these ancient head sculptures can be found at the original archeological site. More than 100 sculpted heads have been sent to the National Chavin Museum.

“The last time we found a Chavin head was back in 2006. Before that we found one in 2004, and before that it had been 60 years,” Rick explained.

Dr. Rick believes these heads may have fallen from their original location, atop a wall, after a powerful earthquake in the year 500 B.C. The wall may have collapsed in 200 A.D.

Both heads have large eyes, wrinkles, pronounced nostrils and at least one dozen sculpted snakes.

Dr. Rick points out that it is difficult to explain the real significance of the snakes and figures around the heads. But the very open eyes indicate a trance, apparently induced by drugs, possibly San Pedro.

The snakes and wrinkles support this hypothesis.

“Wrinkles in one of them reveal the pain produced in the process of ingesting the drugs,” the archaeologist explains. “The snakes could reveal the hallucinations.”