Posted by: Ali | August 23, 2009

Huaca Pucllana

More exciting than finding a castle, I found ruins!  A few blocks from my house!  It’s crazy, like how could you miss that?  But apparently it was missed.  It was private land for years, and the land developer sold parts of it to build houses on.  They thought that the temple was just a hill, and for years it was the haunt of children playing or teenagers on their BMX bikes.  Until 1981, when some archaeologists finally got the government to agree to protect the land so that they could dig.  At first, there was no money to be had, and the archaeologists did not get paid at all, they worked because they thought it was important, and members of the community brought them lunch and dinner.  Now, finally, it is a much nicer environment for the archaeologists, who now have a museum and some revenue from tourism.

So what is this site?  It’s called Huaca Pucllana, and it’s a pre-Incan site.  Apparently it’s a culture that is not very well known, and before they discovered this site they did not have a name for the culture, so they have now named it the Lima civilization.  The largest feature of the site is an enormous temple, shaped like a pyramid, as many civilizations of the region have been known to build.  Unfortunately, this one has more or less eroded on the top, so the back half of the pyramid is covered in loose debris that the archaeologists say was once part of the top of the pyramid.  However, even though the top has disappeared, they say that the pyramid always had a flat top, not a pointed one like the ones in Egypt.

Also interesting: any time they had an important ceremony, or various other events, in order to preserve the memories, they would have the ceremony take place in a room, then afterwards they would fill the room with pebbles, and seal it off, and then build over top.  I think they did the same thing with roads as well, but the archaeologists are not fully sure why yet.  They only know that underneath the roads they found three or four more layers of roads – a layer of bricks, then pebbles, then more bricks, then pebbles.

Also cool: not only is this an archaeological site, but they have also decided to keep a small farm where they grow traditional plants and animals that might have lived here when the Limas did.


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