A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and the University of Brussels (Belgium) during the survey of the highland lake Titicaca was discovered and raised from the bottom of the stone casket with the offering to the gods.
About the discovery reported on the website of the University of Pennsylvania, and completely review it in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity. Lake Titicaca is in the Andes between Bolivia and Peru. It is the largest lake in South America. It had a sacred significance for many cultures, including the Tiwanaku culture and the Inca Empire.
In the new study, underwater archaeologists sank to the bottom of this lake. It is known that in ancient times local residents were put in the water offerings to their deities. A variety of artifacts here periodically to find since 1977.
In this case, the archaeologists found a kind of stone box, which was tightly closed with a lid. It was not sealed, so water got inside. However, to spoil the offerings nor the water nor the time failed. All preserved very well.
Inside the stone casket, archaeologists have discovered two ceremonial object, each in its own way remarkable. One of them was the gold foil, rolled into a small coil.
The second subject is elaborately carved the figure of a llama. The analysis showed that it was made from the shells of marine oysters species of Spondylidae. Scientists say that the nearest place where the Incas (and archaeologists believe that it was the subject of the Incas) could get this spiny oyster, was in the warm waters of the coastal ocean off the coast of Ecuador.
In short, the sink is specially imported, then processed, after which she was presented as a gift to the gods. The findings prove that lake Titicaca was a place of pilgrimage of the Inca. To date it has not yet been.
However, written sources report that the "underwater" the sacrifice was popular in XVI-XVII centuries. Perhaps that’s when the bottom and sank, found the artifact. Similar stone boxes were found here before. Usually they had miniature figures.
By the way, the artifact was discovered during the survey of the site on the bottom of the lake, which until then was not considered a place of sacrifice. Previous studies have shown that the most important ceremonial place of the Inca and preceding cultures were reef Hoa. However, the new artifact and a number of items were found on the reef What.