astronomical laboratory
'Astronomical laboratory' discovered in Peru. Silvia Depaz/Andina

An astronomical laboratory dating back 4,000 years has been discovered at an archaeological complex in Peru.

Located in Licurnique, a few hours from the northern region of Lambayeque, excavators found rocks with astronomical engravings on them.

The archaeological site dates from between 2000BCE and 1500BCE and experts say the laboratory is in its formative stages, Peru's Andina news agency reports.

On the rocks discovered, archaeologists found the petroglyph of an altar, "an expression of religious superposition".

There were also astronomical observations carved onto a flat rock surface, used to track stars and forecast rainfall.

Juan Martinez and Manuel Curo told the news agency that their finding includes ancient Hispanic and Andean influences – an unusual combination.

They said the discovery provides important information about the inhabitants of Licurnique at the time and that further exploration is needed.

For additional pictures of the rock engravings please visit Andina.