Sechin Bajo, the oldest archeological site of the New World

A circular plaza discovered under an ancient precolombian site situated at 370 kilometres in the North of Lima, could constitute the oldest archaeological complex known in the New World.

Sehin Bajo
The ruins of Sechin Bajo, discovered to Casma, in February, 2008.
(Photo : Reuters/STR New, February, 2008)

Initial analysis dates the ceremonial structure to around 3500 B.C.—500 years older than the current record holder, an ancient city named Caral, also in Peru.

Although the age has yet to be confirmed, reports of the newfound plaza surfaced in Peruvian media at the end of February 2008.

Peter R. Fuchs, a German archaeologist who worked at the site, told the Peruvian newspaper El Commercial that the excavation contained "construction from 5,500 years ago."

Cesar Perez, a person in charge of the National Institute of Culture, declared as for him, to the National Geographic Channel that "this discovery was extremely important. German and Peruvian archaeologists had just established in a definitive way that the structure was 5 500 years old."

So, Sechin Bajo constitutes the most ancient human construction known at this day in Peru, and doubtless in all the american continent.

Several times reconstructed

According to local media reports, we discovered this place, of 14 metres in diameter, under the site already known by Sechin Bajo. 

"We found the other details of architecture below the place which could be even older," also declared the German archaeologist Yenque to the news agency of Reuters. "There are four or five deeper places downward," he pursues, "what means that the structure was reconstructed several times, maybe every 100 or 300 years."

In addition the archaeologists discovered a big frieze of adobe representing the image of a man. The researchers say that the frieze would be 3 600 years old.

Tomorrow, the name of Sechin Bajo will maybe make dream as much as the pyramids of Gizeh. Certainly, less by its gigantic size than by its age.

So, the precolombian peoples mastered the architecture and the techniques of construction when the Europeans went out hardly of their caves. This discovery again seems to demonstrate that there was one, but several "cradles of the civilization". In Mesopotamia, in Egypt, in India... and in South America.

Thierry Jamin

Some useful links offering images videos of the site…

Las Ruinas Sechin Bajo

5,500 year old plaza found in Peru

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