By Tim Binnall
Archaeologists studying an ancient abandoned city in Peru made a somewhat unsettling discovery in the form of 20 creepy-looking statues which lined the walls of a passageway. The eerie figurines were reportedly found at the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Chan Chan which was once the massive capital of the Chimu Empire during pre-Columbian era of South America. A flourishing community which spanned the years 900 to 1470 AD, the city fell into ruin and was abandoned after the Inca conquered the Chimu people.
In modern times, Chan Chan has provided a fascinating glimpse into that period of history and, as this most recent discovery shows, still holds some remarkable secrets waiting to be found by researchers. The wooden statues, archeologists say, stand around two feet tall and were outfitted with makes made of a clay-like substance. Each figurine was placed neatly into a small niche along a lengthy corridor and appeared to be holding a scepter in one hand as well as a shield in the other.
Detailing the amazing find to a local newspaper, the lead archaeologist working on the project mused that "we assume they are guardians" watching over the entrance to a ceremonial courtyard. Henry Gayoso Rullier went on to speculate that the figurines likely date back to the middle era of Chan Chan, which would be "between 1100 and 1300 AD" and, as such, they would be the oldest statues ever found at the historic site.