DixPix Photographs

     

SOUTH CORDILLERA

 
     
  Prehistory- RUINS  

 

Throughout the drier regions of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, a wide variety of prehistoric civilizations left stone ruins, culminating with the Incas.  These have been a boon to both archaeologists and tomb robbers, and some are now major tourist attractions.

 

Of course, the most famous ruin, likely in all South America, is Machu Pichu above the Urubamba River in Peru. Click to see big picture (329x480 pixels; 86 KB)
  Click to see big picture (640x409 pixels; 130 KB)
One of the marvels at Machu Pichu as elsewhere is the amazing Incan stonework, wherein stones, some huge, are cut and dressed to fit exactly together. Click to see big picture (640x415 pixels; 135 KB)
Large stones were also used at the pre-Incan center of Tiwanaku in Bolivia near Lake Titicaca, but there the similarity ends. Click to see big picture (377x480 pixels; 87 KB)
Many of the stones here were held together with copper grapas which would have fitted into these holes. Click to see big picture (640x344 pixels; 115 KB)
Tikwanaku was not a violent civilization, and had no written language, but from about 400 to 1000 AD it became a major center of administration and religion.  Here is a wall featuring many heads. Click to see big picture (640x374 pixels; 85 KB)
The heads are set into the stonework, and each is a different carving, perhaps representing individual people. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 90 KB)
A stella, holding its stomach as if it had just eaten something bad. Click to see big picture (265x480 pixels; 57 KB)
The inscription over the Portal del Sol at Tiwanaku. Click to see big picture (640x427 pixels; 111 KB)
Large in area, but appearing primitive, the ruins of Tastil, above Salta in northern Argentina. Click to see big picture (640x480 pixels; 173 KB)
And from near Salar de Atacama in Chile, the 12th century Incan fortress of Pucara de Quitor. Click to see big picture (640x436 pixels; 148 KB)
There are a great many important archaeological sites, but not much money to go around. Click to see big picture (640x437 pixels; 144 KB)
In the dryland ranges, mummies have been found on mountain tops, in saline soils and elsewhere.  This is one at the Museum in San Pedro de Atacama, sometimes referred to as "Miss Chile". Click to see big picture (369x480 pixels; 68 KB)
But there are also treasures of many types in ruins and cemeteries, which fill museums in Peru and around the world.  This has led to a prefession of robbers known as "huaceros".  Here, in the Lluta Valley of northern Chile, a tomb has been destructively excavated; bones and textiles thrown aside. Click to see big picture (632x480 pixels; 151 KB)
An Incan road marked out by stones, at 4000 meters altitude in the Yauyos Range of Peru.  These are what tied the Incan empire together. incaroad
A Vicuña Blind used by Incan and later hunters.  On a ridge, the standing rocks look enough like vicuña ears that it draws males during mating season. blind