Archaeologists Uncover Enigmatic Stone Circle Constructed Preceding the Great Pyramids

Archaeologists recently made an intriguing discovery in the Andes Mountains: a mysterious stone circle that predates the majestic pyramids of Egypt.

According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, the circular stone plaza, measuring approximately 60 feet in diameter, is composed of two concentric walls. These walls are constructed using unshaped stones that are set vertically in the ground.

The Callacpuma archaeological site in northern Peru’s Cajamarca Basin is home to a remarkable monument. Situated at an elevation of approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, this site is nestled near the summit of a peak in the Andes, the longest mountain range in the world, spanning over 5,000 miles along the western edge of South America.

Radiocarbon dating techniques have revealed that the circular plaza was built approximately 4,750 years ago during the “Late Precaremic” period of Andean archaeology.

“This remarkable structure was constructed nearly a century prior to the majestic pyramids of Egypt and during the same era as the iconic Stonehenge,” stated Jason Toohey, an anthropological archaeologist from the University of Wyoming and the principal author of the study, in a recent press release.

The circular plaza showcases an astounding display of monumental megalithic architecture. This particular architectural style refers to the construction of prehistoric structures using large stones. The recent study reveals that the discovery at Callacpuma stands as one of the earliest instances of monumental, megalithic ceremonial architecture in the Americas.

According to the researchers, the monument was constructed using large, vertically placed megalithic stones that were free-standing. This unique construction method, which has not been previously observed in the Andes, sets it apart from other monumental plazas in the region.

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The builders of the circular plaza remain largely mysterious, with little information available about their identity. However, the design and size of the structure, along with the absence of any domestic artifacts nearby, strongly suggest that it served a ceremonial purpose.

According to Toohey, this location in the Cajamarca Valley served as a gathering place and ceremonial site for the earliest inhabitants of the area. These individuals likely followed a hunting and gathering lifestyle and had only recently started to practice agriculture and domestication of animals.

The origins of monumental architecture in ancient human societies are still not well understood, although it is commonly linked to social complexity.

According to the study, the authors explained that this type of architecture is intentionally designed to be bigger and more intricate than necessary for its intended purpose.

The earliest ceremonial monumental architecture in the world was typically built through collaborative efforts of larger groups, surpassing immediate households and even the local population. These architectural structures, which included alignments of megalithic stones, large platforms, buildings, and bounded plazas, served as significant communal achievements.

Some of the earliest and most famous examples of ceremonial architecture include Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, Stonehenge in England, and the great pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

According to the study, Göbekli Tepe holds significant importance due to its construction during the pre-pottery Neolithic period. This period, also known as the New Stone Age, marked the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more settled life focused on agriculture and food production. The ancient site, believed to have been built around 9000 B.C., provides valuable insights into the lives of our ancestors during this crucial time in human history.

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The authors of the study explained that, similar to the early monumental collective architecture found at Göbekli Tepe outside Andean South America, the construction of monumental ritual architecture during the Late Preceramic period in the coastal and highland central Andes reflected a changing social landscape. This shift may have involved a transition from belief systems centered around small groups to more collective and regionally-oriented beliefs and practices.

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