Archaeologists discover 500-year-old ceremonial bath in Peru

Bathing complex thought to have been used by the Inca elite

ancient ceremonial inca bathroom discovered in huanuco

Newly discovered bathing complex.

A bathing complex thought to have been used by the elite of the expansive empire that once ruled vast swaths of South America has been found by archaeologists in the Peruvian Andes.

Local archaeologists think the bathing complex may have had a religious function for important Inca officials, according to a Reuters report. The Inca Empire, which once stretched from southern Ecuador to the middle of Chile, is thought to have existed 500 years ago. It was discovered next to the "House of the Inca" in the Huanuco Pampa archaeological zone in central Peru.

As reported by Reuters, Luis Paredes Sanchez, project manager at Huanuco Pampa said the structure was similar to "more hierarchical, restricted and sacred spaces within the Inca administrative centers because rather than having a utilitarian or hygienic function, they also served for religious functions and worshiping ancestors."

the bathing complex

The bathing complex.

A good architecture

The complex reveals the Incans' good architectural skills by carving finely two meters in depth with independent pools and spillways and a central passage taking water into a drainage duct that divides the room into two small platforms.

The 25,000-kilometer-long Qhapaq Nan project, which connected Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, included the Huanuco Pampa archaeological site. In 2014, the road network was designated a World Heritage Site.

Numerous ancient sites may be found all over Peru, notably the citadel of Machu Picchu in the Inca capital of Cusco and the enormous Nasca lines, which were drawn in the coastal desert region of Ica more than 1,500 years ago.

The Inca Empire

The Incas conquered and peacefully assimilated a significant area of western South America from 1438 to 1533, with an emphasis on the Andean Mountains. When the empire was at its biggest, it united modern-day Peru, what is now western Ecuador, western and south-central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, the southwesternmost tip of Colombia, and a significant chunk of modern-day Chile into a state resembling the ancient empires of Eurasia. Quechua was its official language.

The Inca leadership supported the sun worship of Inti, their sun deity, and enforced its authority above other cults such as that of Pachamama. Numerous local forms of devotion continued in the empire, the majority of them concerning local sacred Huacas. The Sapa Inca was regarded as the "son of the sun" by the Inca people.