800-year-old wooden statues unearthed in Peru

Twenty anthropomorphic wooden sculptures and an intricate adobe wall were unearthed at the Chan Chan archaeological complex in northern Peru, government officials said on Monday (October 22).

The figures and the detailed wall are thought to have been buried more than 800 years ago.Researchers say the sculptures are the oldest idols discovered to date at the Chan Chan site.

Peru's Minister of Culture Patricia Balbuena said the figures appear to be at the entrance of an important ceremonial centre or plaza. Some of the figures have what appear to be staffs and shields while others have decapitated heads.

The statues, 19 of which are in good condition, were inside a rectangular space dug in a row at the base of a wall in a corridor decorated with high relief drawings.

Officials say the 70-centimetre tall figures were created at a time before the Chan Chan culture, possibly around the year 1100.