Monday, October 8, 2018

The Ancient City Complex of Huaca Prieta

An imposing earthen mound looms over the coast about 375 miles north of Lima, Peru, which is the site now known as Huaca Prieta, a prehistoric settlement beside the Pacific Ocean in the Chicama Valley, just north of Trujillo and south of Chiclayo. This complex is believed to have been the home of an ancient people, and associated with numerous Moche sites. Huaca (wak’a) Prieta, meaning “Dark Mound” or “Black Rocks” of sacred importance in Quechua, is thought to have been occupied in the earliest period of Peruvian pre-history, even before ceramics were introduced. The man-made hill consists of a huge mound of ash, stones, textiles, plants and shells, with some burials and constructions within.
The Sacred Black Hill or Mound of Huaca Prieta along the Pacific Ocean coast in northern Peru

About 250- to 550-feet just to the north is a lower hill, called Monticulo Cupisnique, containing many ruins and a lot of refuse, including ceramics of the Guañape, early Cupisinique and Cupisnique cultures that flourished along the coast around 500 BC and possibly before. Archaeologists and Anthropologists differ over whether the Cupisnique are associated with the Mochica (Moche) or the Chavin.
    It is to be noted that the site of Huaca Prieta (along with another nearby site upriver along the south bank of the Río Chicama called Paredones) contained evidence and remains of maize corncobs showing that people living along the coast of northern Peru were already eating corn, and is the earliest evidence of maize found in South America.
    In fact, Huaca Prieta mound situated just north of the Chicama River on the Sangamon Terrace (buried terrace surface with Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene cultural deposits) in northern Peru contains evidence of human occupation stretching back into the early BC period, with the site itself believed to date to 2500 BC. (Alexander Grobman, et al., “Preceramic maize from Paredones and Huaca Preta, Peru,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol.109, No.5, 2012, p1855).
(Image B – New World Maize dates back several thousand years
It might be of interest to note that Dolores Piperno, the curator of New World Archaeology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, among others, states that New World maize was first domesticated from a wild grass in Mexico; however, Peruvian Italian Archaeologist Duccio Bonavia, who studied corn in Andean Peru for many years, claims that maize in Peru developed in the Central Andean region at mid altitudes and then spread form there  down along the coast before extending into higher altitudes. He says maize was developed in Peru independently, and very possibly, co-currently with that of Mesoamerica (Duccio Bonavia, Maize: Its origin, its domestication and the role it has fulfilled in the development of culture, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2013).
    According to Lizzie Wade, a fellow at Wired and an intern at Science, on Archaeology and Latin America and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Mexico, the true surprise of Huaca Prieta lies buried deep beneath the 100-foot-tall mound—stone tools, animal bones, and plant remains left behind by some of the earliest known Americans nearly 15,000 years ago. That makes Huaca Prieta one of the oldest archaeological sites in the Americas and suggests that the region’s first migrants surprisingly may have moved slowly down the coast.
    This evidence of early human occupation stunned Tom Dillehay, an archaeologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville who led the new study. Initially, he was interested in examining the mound itself. But geologists on his team wanted to study the landform under the mound, so they just kept digging downward, with the deepest pit, which took 5 years to excavate, reaching down just over one hundred feet (Tom D. Dillehay, et al., “Simple Technologies and diverse food strategies of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene at Huaca Prieta, Coastal Peru,” Science Advances, Vol.3, No5, 24 May 2017).
    Shockingly, those deep layers contained telltale signs of human occupation, Dillehay and his team reported in Science Advances that simple pebble tools, ephemeral cultural features, and the remains of maritime and terrestrial foods are present in undisturbed deposits underneath the large man-made mound and nearby sites on the Pacific coast of northern Peru. Radiocarbon ages indicate an intermittent human presence dated between 15,000 and 8000 calendar years ago before the mound was built. These studies also been suggest that the Pacific coast was a major route of initial entry into the Americas because it offered consistent resource familiarity and direct and rapid migration farther south.
Looking westward from the top of Huaca Cao Viejo, at El Brujo Archaeological complex, an important Moche site, toward Huaca Prieta along the coast

This has caused some researchers to claim that Huaca Prieta should be listed with the small, but growing list of pre014,000-year-old sites that have revolutionized scientists’ vision of the earliest Americans. Archaeologists used to think that people walked from Siberia through an ice-free passage down Alaska and Canada, reaching the interior of the United States about 13,000 years ago. In recent years, however, well documented earlier sites like Chile’s Monte Verde have convinced most archaeologists that humans made it deep into the Americas by 14,500 years ago, meaning that they would have had to cross Canada long before an ice-free corridor existed. That would have left them with one logical route into the Americas: down the Pacific coast. But direct evidence for such a migration is lacking.
    It should be kept in mind that the mainstream scientific dates used in this article, which are provided by the authors of the various articles on this subject, are either estimates by scientists, or carbon dating using the equilibrium model; however, as later science has revealed, the earth’s atmosphere is not in equilibrium and, therefore, the C-14 testing is based on the wrong premise—which makes its dates highly exaggerated into the much higher numbers than actual testing should provide.
    In any event, the use of the dating system as far as this blog is concerned, is to show that something dated to 12,000 BC is older than something dated to 8,000 BC, etc., not that the dates are correct, but their separation is actual. Thus, no matter the dates, the point is that these sites in Peru are far older than any other site in the Americas.
    The point is, that these sites like Huaca Prieta provide a detailed snapshot of ancient coastal lives. The earliest residents lived in temporary camps in an ancient wetland, eating avocado, chilis, mollusks, sharks, birds, and sea lions. Interestingly, Dillehay did not find any fishing lines, nets, or harpoons, but he suspects the people did not need them because storm surges would have sent seawater flooding deep inland, leaving behind pools full of stranded marine creatures. Then, the Huaca Prieta hunters could have clubbed or caught them much like people in the region do today.
While scientists like to claim the people who settled South America migrated from the north (over the Beringia Land Bridge) and made their way south, Dillehay’s findings show that this was not the case at Huaca Prieta. “This looks like people settling in,” Dillehay claims, and he is joined by Bottom of FormLoren Davis, an archaeologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, who states: “As old as this is, you’re probably looking at the first peoples on the landscape.”
    The Huaca Prietans managed to accomplish their building evidently with surprisingly simple stone tools. Instead of complex spear points, they used flakes knocked off round beach stones for everything from prying open shellfish to cutting up plants. “They’re like disposable razors,” says Matthew Des Lauriers, an archaeologist at California State University in Northridge, who has found the same kind of tools on Cedros Island off Baja California, where people lived more than 12,000 years ago. The similar tools could be evidence for the very first coastal migration, he says.
    It should be obvious from all of this that scientists work mostly by guesswork, however, once their ideas and beliefs get into print, they are used over and over again by those wanting to point out what they feel is the message being stated. This, in turn, creates an image in the public conscience, that is very difficult, if not impossible, to alter or change. That Carbon-14 has acquired a complete acceptance among both professionals and non-professionals alike only shows how inaccurate information can be, over time, accepted as factual. It also shows how the ideas and beliefs of Anthropologists, Archaeologists, Geologists and Evolutionists become accepted fact over time since they eventually become the only voice being heard.
    The importance, however, of such information is in the comparison between sites, areas, regions, and continents. Thus we find that there is no question that the oldest sites known in the Western Hemisphere, dated or stated, are found in Andean Peru of South America.

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't the oldest sites in the Western Hemisphere actually be in Ecuador? Santa Elana. Jaredites. ?