A Caral Archaeological Zone (ZAC) team unveiled wall reliefs at the top of public ceremonial buildings in Vichama —Vegueta's ancient agro-fishing town in Lima's Huara province— ZAC Director Ruth Shady Solis reported Thursday.
The nearly 3,800-year-old wall features four human heads with closed eyes —one next to the other— and two snakes around them heading to an anthropomorphic seed-shaped non-human head with vertical bars driven into the ground.
According to Shady, the reliefs symbolize soil fertilization, and the snakes represent a deity associated with water, which moves through the soil and makes seeds germinate.
Researchers discovered women heads offered as sacrifices, too.
The wall is part of the entrance hall —prior to the ceremonial room— of a public building in Vichama, she explained. The structure faces Huara Valley's agricultural fields.
The building once occupied an 874-square meter space and was continuously refurbished. Venues with staggered windows and a sunken circular square are among its highlights.
Other sculptural reliefs —regarding dearth and famine— were previously unearthed at a different building of this ancient town.
"This new relief reinforces the approach of expressing —in the collective memory— difficulties facing society due to climate change
and water shortage, which strongly affected agricultural productivity," Shady stated.