Researchers have uncovered a 3,200-year-old mural in the Peruvian province of Virú that could shed light on the pre-Columbian Cupisnique culture. The Peruvian newspaper La República reports that the mural marks the location of an ancient Cupisnique ceremonial temple.
Archaeologist Régulo Franco Jordán told La República of the mural, “We are in front of a temple that thousands of years ago would have been a ceremonial center. It is precisely a stylized zoomorphic being that could be a spider, a very sacred animal, found on the south wall.” The painting features a variety of colors, including yellow, gray, and white.
[Read about some of the most significant archaeological findings of the 2010s.]
Jordán also said that the site was likely used a ceremony held between January and March involving rainwater. He told La República that preservation efforts for the mural, which was uncovered after local farmers had cleared the surrounding land, will be undertaken in the coming months.
This finding in Peru is not the only major archaeological revelation to make headlines in recent weeks. Earlier this month, researchers uncovered early Christian monastic ruins—including monks’ cells dating between the 4th and 7th centuries A.D.—in Egypt’s Western Desert. In February, new research surrounding an ancient royal brewery at the ancient site of Abydos in Egypt that once produced thousands of liters of beer at a time was reported widely. Also this year, an archaeological effort at the Taposiris Magna Temple in western Alexandria, Egypt unearthed 16 burial shafts dating to the Greek and Roman periods, and at least one mummy with a tongue made of gold foil was also found.