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]
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.
This is the first time that archaeologists have systematically excavated the site.
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.
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.
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]
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Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.