Given the importance of the material collected, the archaeologists decided to further excavate the cave floor.
In a strip less than 3 feet wide and 150 feet long, they found the remains of bahareque house structures which were burnt and destroyed, several arrow points from the middle archaic period (about 1000 B.C.), fossilized human feces, ropes and remains of burnt beans, corn cobs, a complete pumpkin and some brown ceramic shards.
Most intriguingly, they found other two human burials.
"Placed against the cave all the way to the rock, there were two bone legs tied with a rope. We believe they belonged to a rather tall adult," Gallaga said.
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Small pieces of human bones on a rabbit skin indicated that a small baby had also been buried there.
"The pelvis of the adult was very fragmented, so we need to wait until it is restored to establish whether the individual was a male or a female. It is also too early to tell whether the adult and baby were related," Gallaga said.
He speculates these remains date to 1,000 BC., about 3,000 years ago.
"It is possible the human remains were originally interred somewhere else and re-buried in the cave sometime later. However, we do not know why only half of the body was buried," Gallaga said.
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As for the bird, it is the first time that a scarlet macaw complete with feathers is found buried in a funerary context.
"This was an important bird in the collective imaginations of the prehispanic communities," Gallaga said.
He noted the bird either represented the sun or a link between the gods and the humans.
"The feathers were precious to these people. We found them preserved in bags, shields and adornments," Gallaga said.
The remains collected in the cave are now been analyzed and restored.
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