February 26, 2008

America's oldest urban site?

More evidence that Indians were far from uncivilized savages:

Plaza in Peru may be the America's oldest urban site

The circular structure at the ruins of Sechin Bajo is about 5,500 years old, archaeologists report.An ancient stone plaza unearthed in Peru dates back more than five millenniums and is the oldest known urban settlement in the Americas, according to experts here.

Archaeologists say the site, uncovered amid a complex of ruins known as Sechin Bajo, is a major discovery that could help reshape their understanding of the continent's pre-Columbian history.

Carbon dating by a German and Peruvian excavation team indicates that the circular plaza is at least 5,500 years old, dating to about 3,500 BC, said Cesar Perez, an archaeologist at Peru's National Institute of Culture who supervised the dig.

That would make it older than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Sechin Bajo, 230 miles north of the capital, Lima, thus eclipses the ancient Peruvian citadel of Caral, some 5,000 years old, as the New World's oldest known settlement.
Comment:  This discovery contradicts the well-worn stereotype that Indians wandered aimlessly for millennia, doing nothing.

For more on the subject, see The Myth of Western Superiority.

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