Centuries-old sculptures discovered in Peru

Buried 750 years ago at the Chan Chan citadel

By FRANCESCA STREET, CNN
Getty Images via CNN

These intricate sculptures were recently discovered at the ancient archaeological site of Chan Chan in Peru.

(CNN) - Peru is known as a destination for archaeological marvels: from the 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to the country's incredible pre-Incan ruins.

On Monday, Peru's Minister of Culture, Patricia Balbuena, announced that a new set of Peruvian treasures were unearthed -- 19 sculptures and a complex adobe wall.

The Peruvian Ministry of Culture confirmed to CNN that 20 sculptures were found, but one was destroyed.

Researchers believe the statues were buried approximately 750 years ago at the Chan Chan citadel in northern Peru.

The Peruvian Ministry of Culture says each sculpture carries a scepter in one of their hands and also holds what's possibly a shield. The 70-cm-tall sculptures are made from wood, with clay masks.

The Chan Chan site was once the largest citadel in pre-Columbian America. It's part of UNESCO's List of World Heritage in danger -- it's currently being excavated by Peruvian archaeologists.

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