Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A day in Caral

Today started with a four-hour bus ride to the ruins of Caral, north of Lima. Caral is the second oldest ancient city in the world. It is 5,000 years old but was not discovered until 1994. It is made up of 23 complexes with two main areas. Archeologists in charge of this site indicate that this town was a peaceful one because the only weapons that were found thus far are the ones used to hunt down food.
This civilization also built multiple pyramids. These pyramids were the most sacred of this society; it is where they would keep their temples and the people of most importance to the city lived right next to it. The pyramids always stared with a plaza where the public ceremonies, dances and activities would be held. The stairs led to the temple where the private ceremonies would be held inside the pyramid. All the pyramids that they built were truncated, flat at the top instead of pointed like the ones in Egypt. It has been theorized that only important people had access to the temple.
Among the discoveries is a Quipu, which is a counting system built on threads. It is estimated that population that lived in this society was about 3,000 people. One of the facts about this society is that they traded with other civilizations for goods.
There are 100 people still working on uncovering more about this city every day. The excavations suggest there is a cemetery in the area, but they have only found four bodies thus far and one is theorized to be a body used in human sacrifice for an offering to the Gods. It is believed that the people left the town due to weather instead of an invasion because no weapons were found and no bodies of fallen warriors.
We ended our tour at the center where there was a Wanka or standing stone which was used as a solar clock and was right by the main street which lead to the rest of the city.
We ended our day with a lunch at Bolivar restaurant in the city of Huacho where I had tacu tacu con lomo saltado.  This plate is made out of rice and bean mixture with a sauce and a steak-like meat on top with cooked onions and tomatoes.
Today we learned about ancient people, I can’t wait to see what is in store for tomorrow.

~ Kayla Hall

Eating a lomo saltado con tacu tacu in Huacho

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