Peru: Get to know ceremonial temple Montegrande in Jaen

20:24 | Jaen (Cajamarca region), Oct. 5.

A 9-year-long investigation confirms Montegrande ceremonial temple, in Jaen, is part of an over five-thousand-year civilization that developed in the border between Peru and Ecuador.

The team —composed of Peruvian and Ecuadorian archeologists— is led by Quirino Olivera of Peru.

Back in 2010, the group had discovered Montegrande archeological temple situated under an abandoned Catholic church near Jaen city. Due to a lack of budget, the finding had to be covered with dry sand. 

Two years later, Quirino and his team excavated, cleaned and found a spiral-shaped structure.

The archeologist believes the temple resembles the shape of a coiled snake, an important symbol discovered in nearby sites. 

Steps of the investigation 

The exploration started in 2009, thanks to an Andean Community's (CAN) US$10,000 contribution that led to the creation of a team of 8 Ecuadorian and 9 Peruvian archeologists. 

Francisco Valdez —head of the Ecuadorian group— had found a similar structure in the neighboring country.  

In 2016, the Peru-Ecuador Binational Plan granted S/80.000 (around US$23,988) to the project, while Jaen province provided S/100,000 (about US$29,985), which helped unveil the temple’s beautiful details. 

The Inca country's Culture Ministry is assisting with the excavations to open the front part of the structure by the end of 2018.

Furthermore, the archeologist affirms additional diggings are needed in order to uncover an alleged tomb. 

World's oldest cacao 

This ancient civilization could also be the cradle of cacao. 

The first site was found in the source of Mayo Chinchipe river in Ecuador, where a cacao-fermented beverage was discovered. 

"According to archeological studies, 5,500-year-old evidence could be found in the upper part of the Chinchipe-Marañon binational basin," Olivera expressed. 

Binational tourist hub 

Researches have proposed the creation of a Peruvian-Ecuadorian archeological tourist hub. 

The initiative has already been submitted to Culture Minister Patricia Balbuena and the Peru-Ecuador Binational Development Plan. 


Published: 10/5/2018