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Photos: Diving for Ancient Offerings in Lake Titicaca

Underwater treasure

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Teddy Seguin)

Archaeologists dove into Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and found artifacts dating to hundreds of years ago, which had been put there as offerings, likely by an elite class of people.

[Read more about the ancient offerings found in Lake Titicaca]

Diving work

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Teddy Seguin)

A diver completes an underwater excavation at the site in Lake Titicaca. It's likely that hundreds of years ago, this spot had a rock outcrop that was slightly above water on which people offering these objects could have stood.

Systematic excavation

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Teddy Seguin)

This is the first time that archaeologists have systematically excavated the site.

Better together

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Courtesy of Teddy Seguin)

The archaeologists involved the local community in the excavations. They also trained a number of Bolivian archaeologists how to do underwater archaeology with diving equipment.

Incredible artifacts

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Courtesy of Teddy Seguin)

These are some of the offerings from the Tiwanaku period at Khoa reef in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. The Tiwanaku State, which lasted from about the 5th to the 12th centuries A.D., was the first large polity that ruled over the Andes Mountains.

Animal carvings

Lake Titicaca

(Image credit: Courtesy of Teddy Seguin)

Underwater archaeologists found shells from the thorny oyster Spondylus, which lives in warm waters and was likely obtained through trade, possibly from as far away as Ecuador. The researchers also discovered semi-precious stone artifacts, including a lapis-lazuli puma figurine, at the bottom of the lake. [Read more about the ancient offerings found in Lake Titicaca]