Polish excavations in Peru

Archaeologists from Poland are researching an Incan ceremonial ground located in the Machu Picchu National Park in Peru.

Chachabamba is a unique place. In this Incan ceremonial ground archaeologists have found a sacrificial altar and several ceremonial fountains. Now a team of scientists from Poland is carrying out excavations at the site.

They want to investigate the system of channels providing water to the fountains and baths that were used for ritual cleansing before the ceremonies.

“The water continuously flowed through these channels, which was very important as the Incas believed that only fresh water can wash away the sins,” said Professor Mariusz Ziółkowski, the head of the Centre for Andean Studies of the University of Warsaw in Cusco.

The water was transported through the channels, partially hidden underground, from the nearby waterfall and distributed to the baths.

“It was a very advanced system. The baths were not in line, unlike on other sites. With time it was many times upgraded and modified,” explained Dominika Sieczkowska, who is in charge of the Polish part of the excavations.

The archaeologists have found parts of ornamented dishes which were not for everyday use, but reserved for special occasions. This is proof that the site played an important role.

Machu Picchu National Park covers an area of 36,000 hectares (139 square miles). There are about 60 archaeological sites in the park. The one in Chachabamba dates back to the 15th century.