Ancient treasures found in Bolivian lake
President Evo Morales, Bolivia's minister of culture and diplomats from Belgium were also in attendance.
The expedition began two months ago on the Bolivian side of the lake, which is shared with Peru. Underwater explorations turned up objects from different eras, both Inca era and pre-Inca (1438-1533).
The project unearthed 31 gold fragments, mainly around the Isla del Sol, where legend holds that mythical founders of the Incan empire emerged from the lake's waters.
Underwater excavations were carried out in other parts of the lake where objects from different dates were found.
Elsewhere, 1500-year-old objects such as stone vessels, incense containers and figures of animals such as pumas were found.
Tales about the lake containing underwater citadels and wealth supposedly stashed by indigenous Quechua and Aymara people from Spanish conquistadores have existed for centuries in Bolivia.
In the late 1960s, French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau conducted several expeditions in Lake Titicaca, finding signs of a civilisation.
Morales stressed that Bolivia, South America's poorest nation, is keen to recover its national patrimony on display in countries in Europe and the US.
Source: AFP [October 09, 2013]