Ancient Peruvian find turns up in Florida

May 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla., May 13 (UPI) -- Experts are trying to determine how two ancient skulls and centuries-old Peruvian artifacts came to be buried in a former Florida migrant worker camp.

There is one clue that showed the burial occurred in comparatively recent times -- pieces of a newspaper dated March 16, 1978, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

"This is definitely a secondary burial site," said Dr. Jan Garavaglia, medical examiner for Orange and Osceola counties.

The migrant worker camp in Winter Garden, about 30 miles west of Orlando, shut down in the 1980s and the area is now being developed. A swimming pool contractor found the skulls and artifacts.

John Schultz, an anthropologist at the University of Central Florida, said the skulls are typical of Inca remains from Peru. A woven purse, carrying bag and sling and pieces of pottery found with the bones appear to be from the Chancay culture of Peru, which flourished for more than 200 years before 1470 A.D.

Trading in archaeological finds has been illegal under a UNESCO convention since 1970. Before that tourists could often buy them in local markets, although many countries had laws protecting antiquities.

Another possibility is that the remains were brought to Florida by migrant workers, possibly for use in religious rituals.

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