Figurines from Caral

Today yet again, we will cover a topic, which requires the “and more” in the name of this blog. Caral, being located in Peru, surely isn’t part of MesoAmerica, but this story nevertheless can be of great interest to all readers that are engaged in MesoAmerica studies.

Caral Pyramid Ruins
picture: Xauxa/

Caral, one of the first town-like settlements on the American continents, is located in Peru, relatively close to nowadays Lima. With the help of archeological findings of everyday items, the earliest settlement was dated to no less then 4600BC! Tempels have been dated to around 3300 or 3000 BC. We have a really old culture here, at least ca. 1500 years older than the Olmecs in MesoAmerica. This alone would be a fact worth noting, but so far, we haven’t seen their wonderful art.

During my general research I stumbled over, a site dedicated to everything about Peru, fortunately also archeological findings. In this special article, they are talking about the wonderful, archeological findings of Ruth Shady around Caral, like for example the oldest Quipu found so far (remember that we had it in an earlier blog entry). Another example are figurines from Caral and other sites. They give us a wonderful insight about cultural aspects of the early communities. I couldn’t but notice those hilarious two figurines among them:

"Arrgh, she bit me!"

Those two figurines, found at the Miraya site show a priestess and her husband – from the look on his face a very anxious husband. I just always have to smile and think of an odd family picture, when I see this. Along with other findings however, those two figurines give us the possibility to see the different styles in clothing, hairstyle and so on, depending on gender. Also the importance of the women can be seen here, where the woman is packed with ornaments and the man is “clearly shown to be waiting for her decision”, as puts it.

Findings like thos one can teach us something about the past and about our present. They enable us to reflect our current state, by switching the vantage point through history.

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