In the Peruvian Andes, archaeologists uncovered a network of passageways beneath a more than 3,000-year-old temple. The temple of Chavin de Huantar, in the north-central Andes, was once a religious and administrative hub for people from all across the region.
According to John Rick, an archaeologist from Stanford University who was engaged in the dig, the passages were discovered earlier in May and contain characteristics that suggest they were created before the temple’s labyrinthine halls.
At least 35 underground passages have been discovered in the foothills of the Andes, at 3,200 metres above sea level, during the years of excavations. They all link to one another and were created between 1,200 and 200 years B.C. ‘It’s a passageway, but it’s very different. It’s a different form of construction. It has features from earlier periods that we’ve never seen in passageways’, Rick said.
Chavin de Huantar, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985, was the inspiration and name of the operation carried out when the Peruvian military forces created a network of tunnels to rescue 72 individuals kidnapped by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) rebel group inside the Japanese ambassador’s home in Lima in 1997.