Some sudden discoveries have provided the clue which archaeologists have been searching for decades - the true history of Chavin, the ancient city in North Peru.
GV PAN From mountains to Chavin archaeological site
SV Chavin temple key-head and wall (2 shots)
SV Professor Lumbreras (in cap) arrives with students
SCU, ZOOM OUT Professor explains chavin finds
Tracking shot through underground tomb
SV Carved pillars (3 shots)
SCU Keyheads (4 shots)
CU Museum sign at University
GV INT Students assembling finds
Initials ESP/1319 ESP/1333
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Background: Some sudden discoveries have provided the clue which archaeologists have been searching for decades - the true history of Chavin, the ancient city in North Peru.
Chavin was known to have been an important city in the time of the Incas. But in the past two weeks, archaeologists have found evidence that the site is at least 4,000 years old. Professor Luis Lumbreras, who has led the excavations - initially developed by Marino Gonzalez - says Chavin was built at the time when Man developed from a mere animal to a craftsman and farmer. At the time Chavin must have been the centre of civilisation - virtually the world capital!
Professor Lumbreras believes the technical elite - the craftsmen who built the elaborate city and carved the detailed stonework - soon developed into a priesthood. They evolved a religion with fierce gods, and some of the stones discovered were probably alters used for human sacrifices.
Chavin's original culture lasted from about 2,000 to 50 BC. Later, less sophisticated tribesmen used it, before the Incas made it into a city, until the Spanish came and usurped them.
One of the clues to discovering the secrets of Chavin could have come straight from the pages of a novel. Professor Lumbreras noticed that statues of a god had what looked like a map on the crown: he followed the 'directions' and found all the important parts of the city laid out correspondingly.
SYNOPSIS: The mountains of Peru have at last yielded a secret that has baffled archaeologists for decades.
Important finds in the past two weeks have finally revealed the history of Chavin, the mysterious holy city of the North.
Professor Luis Lumbreras is the man who made the discovery. He has been excavating the site with his students from Lima's San Marcos University, based on the findings of a local archaeologist, Marino Gonzalez. Archaeologists have long known that Chavin was an important city of the Incas until the Spanish came and conquered them.
But Professor Lumbreras has found that Chavin was built two thousand years before the Incas. It was created four thousand year ago, when Man first ceased to be a mere hunter and learned to farm and build. It must have been the capital of the world, as far as its inhabitants were concerned.
Many of the carvings were elaborate - and sinister. Professor Lumbreras thinks the civilisation of Chavin was controlled by priests who made human sacrifices to fierce gods. But it was the chief god who gavage Professor Lumbreras his vital clue.
When he was examining the carvings at Lima University, he noticed that a pattern on the god's head corresponded with the lay-out of the city. It turned out to be a map which led him to his principal finds.
Now his students are busily piecing together fragments of stone in the hope of making further discoveries about the secret city of Chavin.