2nd ritual bath used by Inca royalty discovered at Peru archaeological site
Lima, Apr 13 (EFE).- A second ritual bath used by Inca royalty was found in central Peru’s Huanuco Pampa archaeological zone, the Culture Ministry said here Thursday.
Experts from that portfolio made the discovery as part of excavation work associated with Qhapaq Ñan, a network of roads that spanned more than 25,000 kilometers (15,500 miles) in length, connected various production, administrative and ceremonial centers constructed over more than 2,000 years of pre-Inca Andean culture and was declared cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2014.
The ceremonial bath is located in the Inkawasi (House of the Inca) sector of Huanuco Pampa, an archaeological complex situated in the central region of Huanuco.
The bath is a two-meter-deep (6.6-foot-deep) hydraulic structure that was made from stones carved in the Imperial Inca style and features two asymmetric enclosures and a five-step side entrance, the ministry said.
Each enclosure has a lateral niche, spillways and independent pools. Between them is a central passage through which water flowed toward a drainage duct, the ministry said.
It said the Inca ruler’s baths are structures commonly associated with the most restricted and hierarchical areas of Inca settlements, such as temples or sacred spaces.
They therefore “must have been religious and ceremonial in nature, with a function that must have been ritual as opposed to utilitarian,” the ministry said.
The archaeological excavation work at the Inkawasi sector forms part of a larger archaeological research initiative aimed at conserving and promoting the Qhapaq Ñan project in that area, which is located in the La Union district of Dos de Mayo province.
Huanuco Pampa was one of the most important administrative centers of the Inca Empire. EFE