Friday, May 2, 2014

Huaca Pucllana - Peru

Good Morning everyone,

It is not very often I am around here first think in the morning I can tell you that much and although this morning really isn't feeling too bad right now I still don't care for it. I really shouldn't complain though because the deck guys came just after 9:00am instead of just after 8:00am so I suppose that is a win for me!

I thought I would stop by this morning when I am suppose to be fresh and tell y'all about the day Tanya and I went to Huacan Pucllana, also known as the Miraflores Ruins. This was a place I knew I wanted to go as soon as I found out I would be going to Peru, I had seen pictures Tanya had taken when her and Josh visited when they first arrived in Peru and the history and what not was right up my alley! I have always wanted to visit the Egyptian Pyramids and at first glance that's what this place reminded me of. Thankfully Tanya was more then gracious and went to a bunch of places again just so I could see them.

The ruins are right in Miraflores so we just picked a day and walked over, it was super hot that day and being unaware of exactly what we going to be walking around in I didn't really dress appropriately.

The ruins are described as "the great adobe and clay pyramids" they are built from seven staggered platforms and I said said are located in Miraflores. Sadly much of Miraflores is actually built on top of the ruins and although they are discovering more and more everyday there is much that will never be recovered. When Huaca Pucllana is translated it is said to be called "The place of ritual games" because it served as a place of ceremonial and administrative advancement, this developed between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD.. yes you read that right! Many many moons ago!

In colonial times the ruins were said to be an important point of reference in the observation of the coast, it was of great interest due to superstitions and the interest in Peruvian culture, tools, etc.

Many remains have been uncovered on these grounds dating back to Wari Culture which was approximately from 500 AD to 900 AD, it is noted that on these grounds the remains of Senor De Los Unkus (The Lord of the Unkus) which belonged to the first tomb in the ceremonial center of the ruins were found completely intact. His remains were found in a tomb which contained three bodies, two were discovered with masks representing those of sacrificed children.

In this time they believed greatly in human sacrifice, during our tour it was expressed to us the importance of sacrificing young women who had already given birth and were therefore fertile, a great gift. They saw being chosen to be sacrificed a wonderful honor.

The Pre-Inca indigenous culture was quite sophisticated using irrigation methods to bring water to the desert areas around Lima for agricultural purposes, as well they uses cotton and animal furs to weave beautiful and colorful textiles which at the time were an important status symbol which were also used around human remains. The Lima culture is also known for the exquisite handmade ceramic pottery.

At this time the culture practiced a religion based on worship and appeasement of magical gods, this is where the human sacrifice came in, they believe those who were blessed by these gods must be chosen for sacrifice. Fertile women were not the only ones chosen to be sacrificed but anyone considered fortunate, for example if once crops were planted and harvest time came around and a bountiful crop was present the owners/planters of that crop were considered to be fortunate and therefore worthy of sacrifice.

Shall we look at some pictures before we continue on with this history lesson?

From the street you can actually see much of the ruins, however in order to tour them and walk around you must pay an entrance fee and are only permitted on the grounds when accompanied by a tour guide. 

Before entering the grounds there is a very tiny museum so to speak with examples of ceramics, tools, etc. for you to view. 

These are an example of the bricks found throughout the ruins, the spaces in between the bricks were purposely and strategically placed to allow them to withstand the movement caused by the many earthquakes they were bound to withstand.

As you can see from the little sign this is an example of how humans were bound before they were set in their final resting place. 

Tools used around those times. 

We probably don't want to know what this was used for. 

Our tour guide was wonderful, he spoke very good English. I had to chuckle just a little as he stressed throughout our tour that Incan's were very tiny people, as you can see from this picture this gentlemen is not much taller then the replicas placed throughout the ruins to give you an idea of the people and things that took place. 

As you can see the city of Lima is built up around the ruins. 

Walking through the ruins it was almost as though you were going through a corn maze! Every section had significance, and were often sectioned off for a reason. 

They really did a wonderful job of showing what life would have been like if you resided here and their daily activities and attire. Keep in mind Lima is a desert climate, rain does not fall there and if it does it is extremely rare. In the last 25 years they have seen rain approximately 4 times. 

The ruins really are vast, covering at this point approximately 80 acres. 

They still have people working daily on restoration.

Burial sites. 

You are probably surprised to see a garden, this is to depict exactly what existed back when pre-incan's inhabited the ruins. 

Things do actually grow there, such as these peppers which I believe are native to Peru and used in one of their traditional dishes, Ceviche.

Now if I am not mistaken this cactus looking plant can be used as a hallucinogenic.. Tanya can correct me if I am wrong on that.  

Oh the Guinea pigs! These poor fat little buggers are what they eat. They are actually considered to be a delicacy, if you are invited over to someones home and they serve you guinea pig it is a compliment and you are expect to eat ALL OF IT, and if you do not it is considered extremely disrespectful. 

The grow them fat on purpose.. eek!

These guys are used for their fur, to contribute to textiles. 

Still digging in places, remains will most likely still be recovered for years. 

Tanya & I.

It was about at this point we were walking and I tripped and caught my flip flop, I flailed like an idiot.. completely embarassed myself and really hurt my foot! For the remained of my trip I could no wear flip flops because my foot was extremely sore and swollen, so I wore my flats which essentially tore my feet all to hell. Good times!

Burial place. This is how burials took place, the bodies were wrapped and people gave offerings as a sign of respect. 

I believe this is what proceeded a burial.

 If you would like to read more about the ruins or take a look at pictures you can visit their site HERE. There is an option to have the site translated into English if you would like to do so... which you probably will.

I would have liked to have seen the ruins at night, there is a beautiful restaurant there which I assume serves mostly traditional foods. Tanya and Josh went and Tanya got the guinea pig, the pictures she took were beautiful and again hop on over to her blog as she too has visited all these places and blogged about them, you can see her pictures and read her views over there!

Slowly but surely we are coming to an end with our Peru posts, I think I have at most three left and if possible maybe we will stagger them a little as I don't want you to be completely over it before we are finished.

I am off to have some breakfast and shower, the gentlemen are here working on the deck and I am really hoping to see some progress before Jason and I head off to the Seavey's this afternoon. We are planning to be back tomorrow afternoon in which case I will be here with something, if there is nothing done on the deck and our weekend wasn't all that exciting you might be hearing about Peru again. This is exactly why I should have taken my computer because it is just overwhelming what a month in another country can do to a blogger!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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