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Temple of the Fox found in Peru

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 3160
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04/25/2006 10:00 AM
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Temple of the Fox found in Peru
Temple of the Fox found in Peru
By Kavita Kumar and Emily Dulcan
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/24/2006

The frowning disk was uncovered in Peru in June of 2005.
(HANDOUT)

He helped match a skull with the remaining bones of Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro. And he led the team that excavated the oldest known village in the Americas.

Now retired University of Missouri at Columbia anthropology Professor Robert Benfer, working with a team of archaeologists, has another exciting find to add to his impressive resume: uncovering an ancient temple that he says contains the oldest sculptures and astronomically oriented structures found in the New World.

Benfer and his team uncovered the 33-foot stepped pyramid temple, the Temple of the Fox, in a 20-acre excavation site at Buena Vista, Peru. He says the temple dates to 2220 B.C. - which makes it 1,000 years older than anything of its kind previously found, he said.

The alignment of the temple with the sun and constellations on the equinox and summer and winter solstice suggests that the early Andeans used astronomical signs and constellations to guide their agricultural activities.

"It's a big find - finding something new and without precedent," said Benfer. "It's like mathematicians finding a new interesting question."

Benfer, 67, presented his team's findings Monday night at Mizzou as the last in a series of lectures sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. And he is planning to fly today to Puerto Rico where he will present his findings to the Society for American Archaeology.

Scott de Brestian, president of the central Missouri chapter of the Archeological Institute, said Benfer's discovery of the precisely constructed temple means sophisticated human calendars existed earlier than was previously believed.

"This really changes our view of how old some of these cultural traditions are," de Brestian said.

Benfer's work "pushes back Andean attention to astronomy in early civilization to more than 4,000 years ago," said Michael Moseley, a University of Florida anthropologist who has worked in Peru for more than 30 years. "This is pioneering."

Moseley added that Benfer's discovery pushes the envelope in challenging the rest of his field to pay more attention to astronomy in their work.

Benfer makes a point of saying that he didn't find the site by himself. Americans taking credit for archaeological discoveries in Peru have led to controversies in the past.

Benfer worked with a team of Peruvian archaeologists, including Bernardino Ojeda, and students from Peruvian universities and from the University of Missouri.

The astronomical alignments that Benfer and his team found mark important dates for farming. That suggests that the early civilizations in Peru relied more heavily on agriculture than some have believed.

Benfer knows that other scientists might greet his findings with skepticism - and they should. But he thinks he has a persuasive case because he found multiple alignments "and those aren't going to happen by chance," he said

The physical orientation of the temple's offering chamber is slightly different from the rest of the temple, so that it is directly aligned with the rising sun on Dec. 21, the date of the Southern Hemisphere's summer solstice. That's when floodwater rose from the nearby Chillon River and crops should have been planted. Looking to the west, the chamber directly aligns with a natural platform over which the sun sets on June 21, marking the beginning of the harvest.

At the same point in the west, people living 4,000 years ago would have observed the rising of the star constellation the Fox on March 21, when floodwater receded.

The temple's relationship to the sun has remained almost exactly the same with the passing of the millenniums, while the constellations have shifted, and the temple's relationship to the Fox constellation is no longer the same, Benfer said.

The Temple of the Fox is named for the etching of a fox found at the temple's entrance. In Andean cultures, the fox is associated with water.

One of two sculptures at the temple is a face flanked by two animals. Benfer characterizes the face as "disconsolate." It is oriented exactly the same as the offering chamber. Benfer speculates that the face could be one of the earliest characterizations of Pacha Mama, the Andean god or goddess who believers thought created the Earth.

It almost never rains at Buena Vista, Benfer said, so the remains found in the excavation site are in fairly good shape. They found twigs and pieces of cotton that they radio carbon-dated and found to be 4,000 years old, he said.

Benfer began teaching at the University of Missouri in 1969. He retired in 2003 but continues to work with graduate students.

He has been working in Peru since the 1970s, traveling there nearly every year - sometimes more than once. He has been working at the Buena Vista site for four years and discovered the Temple of the Fox in June 2004.

He hopes to return to return to Peru this summer to continue excavating the site.

[link to www.stltoday.com]
Indy

User ID: 74045
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04/25/2006 10:06 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
thanks for the news 3160.
I have a feeling important finds will come out soon
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/25/2006 10:10 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
[link to columbiamissourian.com]

better pics at that link
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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04/25/2006 10:13 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
[link to www.themaneater.com]

An extra tidbit in that article about the moon and fishing practices.
Anonymous Coward
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04/25/2006 10:42 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
OMG
PARKER AND STONE!!!!
THE FACE!?!?!
south park
revelation!!!!!
Anonymous Coward
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04/25/2006 11:25 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
"The alignment of the temple with the sun and constellations on the equinox and summer and winter solstice suggests that the early Andeans used astronomical signs and constellations to guide their agricultural activities. "

Any farmer knows when to plant and when to sow, they don't need some complicated astrologicaly aligned temple to tell them when to do what. Archaeologists never give the ancients the credit they really deserve.
Miscreant

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04/25/2006 12:12 PM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
I doubt the dates given for these structures are based on reality. If this is the oldest known pyramid in the new world, then it's older than Machu Picchu. All of these are much older than the dates that are given.

"Authorities" continue to sideskirt the high degree of civil engineering, technical and astronomical expertise it would have taken to pull off the building of these precise structural astroclocks. They were not for the purpose of agriculture.

John Major Jenkins (Maya Cosmogenesis 2012) determined that the builders of Machu Piccu (and older) were the same people. They were very much obsessed with finding the center of the galaxy. They discovered that the north star was a false god (they noticed the wobble of the precession) and were devoted to following the path Venus makes in the celestial road. So, the Olmecs became the Toltecs, became the Mayans, as they migrated and built new pyramid observatory complexes. This can be proven by the astronomical purpose and orientation of the structures themselves.
99.999% of what affects our reality will be undetectable by our senses. Man must learn to think for himself rather than follow blindly what he has been taught.

-Buckminster Fuller
Anonymous Coward
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04/28/2006 04:28 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
lmao
interest bump
User ID: 25468
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04/28/2006 09:41 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
book
Anonymous Coward
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04/28/2006 09:43 AM
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Re: Temple of the Fox found in Peru
per u





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