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Chavin de Huantar

The ruins of Chavín de Huántar are some of the most historically important in Peru, as this was the main ceremonial center for the Chavín culture, the first major culture in South America. The site was completely buried in mud from landslides from the Cordillera Blanca, the last of which occurred in 1945. The Chavín culture emerged around 2,000BC, and the temple at Chavín de Huántar was built around 1,000BC.
The site has of a number of stone temples, some of which are still covered in mud. The facade of the finest temples is in finely cut granite that was brought from a quarry 30km away. The three finest carvings found there are the Raymondi Stela, the Tello Obelisk and the Lanzón, all of which represent the gods of the culture. The incredible carvings on all three stones represent figures, including crosses between feline and human images.
In addition to the carvings, Chavín is famous for its Cabezas Clavas, or carved heads. These once adorned the walls of many of the temples, although only one is still in its original place. However, there are many heads on display throughout the complex, each of which is slightly different. Some are clearly human, others also have distinct animal features, but there are also some which represent mythological figures

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