The Mysterious 2400-year Old Giant Clay Pot of Peru
Some civilizations in the world developed a lot of the current day city-structures we know of giving the world agricultural technology, irrigation techniques, planned to house, and much more. Unfortunately, a lot of these civilizations were either destroyed or saw a natural downfall and got lost in time. One such amazing and revolutionary civilization was the Paracas. An ancient Andean civilization, the Paracas people are one of the oldest inhabitants of the South American landscape building a civilization from scratch in the region we refer to as modern-day Peru. Thriving around 2100 years ago, the Paracas had developed an extensive knowledge of irrigation systems, water management, textile production, and ceramics. The movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was inspired by the Paracas people who often performed artificial cranial deformation with newborns so that they have a unique long skull. This is what led to the first few researchers who excavated the remains of the Paracas believing that the Paracas were an alien species.
What’s with the Giant Clay Pot?
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Ceramics was common among all the prosperous civilizations of that period which includes the Paracas, the Egyptians, the Indus Valley People, and the Mesopotamians. On October 27, 1966, the region Museum of Ica in Peru discovered a large unique granary bowl or clay pot in the Paracas region of Peru’s Pisco Valley. The marvel of this find was that this was one of the first massive artifacts unearthed from this civilization’s past. The fired clay pot was 2 meters in diameter, 2.8 meters in height, and had sections of 5 cm on the wall and 12 cm on the base. It was the largest clay pot found from the pre-Hispanic age of Peru.
Although the massive size of the pot is unusual from the ones made in that age, it isn’t the only massive clay pot of the Paracas. Archeologist Julio C. Tello dates the clay pot back to the Paracas Necropolis Period which lasted from 500 BC to 200 AD. The clay pot in fact was granary storage and was used by the Paracas to store their grain and other groceries.
What’s Inside the Paracas Clay Pot?
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Grain storage for long periods of time was a very common practice back in the ancient world. Since these regions often saw droughts and floods, storing the grain and burying it seemed probable for the people in that time to protect their grain from rotting away. The grain would either be stored individually or would be taken up by the ruling system of the civilization which could be a chiefdom or a kingship.
The giant clay pot, as mentioned before, was actually a granary pot or a giant vessel for storing grains. And that’s exactly what the archeologists found inside the pot when it was unearthed. There were different levels of grain stored in the pot from seeds of beans, Pallares, yucca, lucuma, and guavas. Covered with clay on the top, it might have been one of the primary ways of the Paracas to store their grain and protect it from rotting away.
What’s the Mystery behind the Clay Pot?
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When the Paracas civilization was first discovered it was in the region of Ica in Peru. Ica has been a hotbed for different civilizations throughout the ages. Prominently being the lap of the Andean cultures, Ica is a treasure cove for historians. Ica is also home to the discovery of the Ica Stones discovered by archeologist Javier Cabrera. These stones are mysterious andesite stones that allegedly resemble animal figures, human figures, dinosaurs, and much more, and are thought to be the evidence of an advanced form of technology existing back in the ages in Peru.
Ica is also a region close to the world-famous Nazca desert which is home to one of the world’s biggest mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are a group of massive geoglyphs neatly carved into the heart of the Nazca desert and were probably made during 500 BC. The combined length of the Nazca lines is 1300 km and covered over 50 square kilometers of area. They can be seen from the sky in the shapes of different animals and insects. The origin and purpose of these lines still remain unknown to the world.
The clay pot however doesn’t come from the heart of this mystery but the heart of another. According to the archeologists, the giant clay pot was not synonymous with the surroundings it was found in. After dating the pot, the researchers realized that the pot belonged to the Paracas Necropolis Period and probably from the site known as Warikayan. Warikayan is the site where the Paracas Necropolis was found. The Necropolis was a collection of rectangular cemeteries divided into compartments and chambers. Each compartment or chamber belonged to a single-family and had their ancestors buried there for ages. It is believed that the pot was originally buried in one of those chambers but was later removed and transported to the site it was found at in 1966. Now, this transportation did not take place in the modern era and was probably done while the Paracas were thriving in Peru.
Since no stoves were found near the site of the clay pot, it was somehow confirmed that the pot was not buried here originally but was removed from Warikayan, transported, and then buried at the site it was found at. There are no inscriptions or drawings on the pot that would suggest who did it belong to and so archeologists are unsure if it held a special place in the giant scheme of things. But what’s fascinating is that the mere size of the pot during that age is a marvel for researchers. Who knows what the region of Ica holds today in its womb. Only time can tell what archeologists might find from the time of the Paracas and if there is proof that aliens actually came down to visit them.