Peruvian archeologists have discovered a temple believed to be about 5,000 years old at the ancient El Paraiso archeological site in a valley just north of Lima, the Culture Ministry said.
If the date is confirmed, it would be among the oldest sites in the world, comparable to the ancient city of Caral, a coastal city some 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the north.
The discovery, dubbed the Temple of Fire, was found in one of the wings of El Paraiso's main pyramid. It includes a hearth that experts believe was used to burn ceremonial offerings.
"The smoke allowed the priests to connect with the gods," said Marco Guillen, who led the team of researchers who made the find.