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Field Notes Close to home or in a far away jungle, there is always something marvelous to see.

Pachacamac

PERU | Thursday, 25 March 2010 | Views [298]

Pyramid, Pachacamac Archeological site

Pyramid, Pachacamac Archeological site

Despite my atrocious Spanish we were able to negotiate a reasonable fare for drive to the ruins of Pachacamac and have the driver wait for us.   The 30 km trip took us along the coast and gave us a different view of the area around Lima.  The city itself is dotted with parks and pleasant looking residences.  But the surrounding area is one of the driest places on earth and the people often live in hillside shantytowns, the kind that slide down the hill whenever it rains.

Pachacamac’s history can be traced back to 200 AD and it was still and important site when the Spanish arrived.  The Wari civilization was followed by the Chimu, which was conquered by the Incas around 1400 AD.  Each group left its mark; temples, pyramids and dwellings.  We arrived just at opening and had the entire place to ourselves for most of the morning.  Excavation and restoration are still going on and some of the areas were off limits.  In addition to the ceramics that have been found, archeologists discovered actual textiles that have been preserved by the dry climate.

Since we returned earlier than we had expected we had no trouble convincing Frederico to drop us at El Museo de la Nacion, where we wanted to learn about the early history of Peru.  All but two floors were closed for renovation so we learned more about the period from 1960 to present than we needed to know; about the Shining Path guerrillas and the MRTA (Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru, the former communist and the later a Marxist-Leninist group and their battles with government forces.  As near as I can tell there were no good guys.  Peruvian politics still seems to be a dirty business.

 

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