La Arena (Pérou): an important pre-Inca site built by the Tallan culture

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Authorities in the north coast region of Piura say they have uncovered an important pre-Inca site that was built by the Tallan culture, according to news reports.

Archaeologists believe the complex, which was found in the municipality of La Arena, was an administrative center for the Tallan culture, which developed from 700 to 1400 AD and expanded into current Ecuador.

Archaeologists say they found necklaces, ceramic pieces and other fragments in the area.


Archaeologists discovered a complex belonging to the Tallan culture. Source: El Comercio

Lead archaeologist María Elena Nuñera said the complex would also have been a warehouse and living quarters for the Tallan civilization.  The Tallan were known to be potters.

This would have been a large storage for corn, cotton and other products from the area,” she said in comments reported by daily El Comercio. “It would have also been a place where the Tallan lived.”

In 2008, excavations further south near Chiclayo at the Huaca El Loro, led by Izumi Shimada, unearthed an 1000-year-old Tallan mummy, a nobleman, buried in a lavish Sican tomb.

Peru is best known for its rich Inca history because it was chronicled by the Spaniards who came in the 16th century, but it was in fact the seat of many prominent and influential societies prior to their conquest by the Incas. Of these the most prominent include the Chavin, Moche and Wari.

Adela Castillo, a community representative near the Tallan finding, said that there are a number of other archaeological remains in the nearby area, but authorities lack funding to undertake the excavations.

The local office of tourism invested about 30,000 soles (about $11,000) in unearthing the Tallan site in Piura.  According to the Andina government news agency, the site encompasses some four hectares(about 10 acres).

Castillo said that many grave robbers have invaded the area, destroying the pre-Inca sites in search of artifacts to sell on the lucrative antiquities market.