Category: peru

The Peruvian Central Railway from Limma reached Chicla in 1878 (which sits at 12,444 feet above sea level) and La Oroya (12,287 ft) in 1893. But the highest point on the railway is actually
the Galera summit tunnel under Mount Meiggs at 4,783 m (15,692 ft), which was also built in 1893. It is no surprise that, historically, designated railway employee was on every train to provide oxygen in case passengers develop altitude sickness.

The Peruvian Central Railway was the highest railway point in the world until
Qinghai–Tibet Railway’s Tanggula tunnel was built 2006, which sits at an impressive 5,072 m (16,640 ft) above sea level.

Amazing then and now photographs of Machu Picchu after excavation in 1911.

The major Incan god, Inti, was the god of the sun. You can see his sun on the flag of Argentina (below),
the coat of arms of Bolivia, the coat of arms of Ecuador, and on the historical flag of Peru.

Brightly colored pottery is a hallmark of the Paracas culture (900 – 100 BCE) of southern Peru. They would mark unfired pieces with animals, supernatural figures, and patterns, then add color after the firing process to fill in the design.

A new study, recently published in Antiquity, analyzed the chemical composition of the Paracas paints and binding agents. The study found that an organic white pigment on pottery from the Cahuachi site was made from an unusual material: reptile urine! It is unknown – and a bit difficult to guess – how the substance was collected and then processed.

THE NAZCA LINES: A LIFE’S WORK:

THE World Heritage-listed Nazca lines are a well-known part of the ancient heritage of Peru. One woman spent over 50 years studying and protecting them. Ana Maria Cogorno Mendoza shares the story of Dr Maria Reiche.

The lines and geoglyphs of Nazca are one of the most impressive-looking archaeological areas in the world and an extraordinary example of the traditional and millenary magical-religious world of the ancient Pre-Hispanic societies. They are located in the desert plains of the basin river of Rio Grande de Nazca, the archaeological site covering an area of approximately 75,358.47 hectares.

For nearly 2,000 uninterrupted years, the region’s ancient inhabitants drew thousands of large-scale zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures and lines on the arid ground – animals, birds, insects, other living creatures and flowers, plants and trees, as well as geometric shapes and miles of lines of deformed or fantastic figures. In 1939 CE they were rediscovered and a year later, Dr Maria Rieche, began a lifetime of study and protection of these remarkable sites.

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Chinese laborers were brought to Peru in the mid-1800s, to harvest cotton and sugar after slavery was ended in 1854. While some laborers traveled back home, many more stayed. Even today Peru has a distinct Chinese cuisine developed by the laborers and their descendants.

Recently, archaeologists in the Peruvian capital of Lima excavated the bodies of three workers, buried with a number of Chinese artifacts. The men were wrapped in blankets and then placed either directly in the earth, or in simple wooden coffins. The bodies were well-preserved. They were either intentionally mummified before burial, or accidentally mummified by the arid climate. Whether on purpose or accidental, their preservation is a boon to archaeologists.

One of the laborers was buried naked, with his clothing folded on his torso, alongside an opium pipe and tarot cards. The two other laborers were buried in typical tunics and sandals. One was sporting a straw hat. The men apparently wished to be buried with the artifacts they had used when alive.

And like in life, they were foreigners in a foreign land: Chinese immigrants were excluded from Catholic cemeteries in Peru hence the three men being discovered buried alone, away from a larger burial ground.

While mostly an octopus, each of its leg ends in a catfish head, and the creature has claw-like feet. This Moche frontlet would have been worn on a headdress, to scare all who saw the wearer.

Circa 300 – 600 CE.

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While mostly an octopus, each of its legs ends in a catfish head, and it also has two claw-like feet. Meaning it has ten legs total? I think?

This Moche frontlet would have been worn on a headdress, to scare all who saw the wearer. Circa 300 – 600 CE.

Pedro Lopez is a Colombian serial killer. He was sentenced in 1980 in Ecuador for killing 110 girls, but who claims to have raped and killed more than 300 girls across Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and potentially other countries. That would make him the second most prolific known serial killer in history.

He was released in 1994, rearrested an hour later as an illegal immigrant and handed over to Colombian authorities, who charged him with a 20-year-old murder. Lopez was released by Colombia in 1998 on $50 bail and some conditions. He absconded. At present, Lopez is wanted in connection to a 2002 murder, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Gold was probably the first metal to be exploited in the Andes, by the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. From there, the archaeological record suggests goldworking then traveled north, reaching Central America in the first centuries CE, and Mexico by about 1000 CE.

This particular necklace is from the Chavin Civilization, which developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from about 900 BCE to about 200 BCE. That sounds old, but relatively speaking, that is not old at all. Gold had already been mined and worked in the Andes for a thousand years when the Chavin arrived on the scene.