Skip to comments.Canary expedition in search of the white stone llamas
Posted on 10/03/2007 2:50:55 PM PDT by Fred Nerks
A team of Canary investigators is currently in remotest Peru to study a startling new archaeological discovery which came to light recently in Choquequirao, an ancient Inca site which is being described in glowing terms as Machu Picchus twin town.
The find consists of a line of white stone llamas embedded in massive terraced stone walls and which, it is thought, could well form part of the entrance to the sacred valley of the Incas.
And make no mistake - the expedition to Choquequirao is no jolly. The three men and two women face a gruelling five days on foot and mule along badly eroded and slippery tracks, in 100% humidity and in full rainy season. But its one they have already done just three months ago and now they are hoping to find more of the mysterious llamas.
After the hardships, mosquitoes and slips along the way what we found was truly worth all the trouble, said team member Rubén Naveros of La Lagunas Museum of Science and the Cosmos.
A white stone artwork depicting a llama in Choquequirao, Peru.
So far 33 of the elegant, minimalist llamas have been uncovered, hidden behind and beneath thick vegetation, but the team thinks there could be as many as a hundred, maybe more. The frieze is unique and has caused a considerable ripple of excitement in the archaeological world because nothing remotely like it has been found in Inca architecture before. Another member of the team explained how, on that first visit they had been puzzled by the fact that the mysterious stone complex appeared not to conform to the usual Inca pattern of being constructed in line with the sun. But they had eventually unearthed evidence of aligned white stones set in black earth and buried underneath centuries of dust and undergrowth. It seems this was the place where the Incas ritually sacrificed selected llamas. The far-flung nature of the site can be judged by Gotzon Cañadass account of spending 22 hours on a bus from Lima to Cuzco, followed by a 4 hour switchback mountain journey in a cramped minibus to the tiny town of Cachora. It was like worlds end, he said. Then came the five day mule ride up the Vilcabamba mountains to Choquequirao, perched at an altitude of 3,300 metres above sea level.
At first glance Cachora might well have been far from the madding crowd, but on the return journey and after 65 kilometres in the wilds on the back of a mule it was civilization itself. As far as we were concerned it was Manhattan, smiled Cañadas as he prepared to pack his bags and fly off to Peru with the rest of the team, on a quest to bring the white llamas back to life.
A new archaeological site in Peru to rival Machu Picchu is being uncovered in the south of the country.
Mynd you, llama bytes can be nasti
What the heck language was this translated from ... and will we see an English version soon?
Those aren’t llamas - they’re alpacas!
Check the ears ;-)
A llama once bit my sister.
Don’t they have helicopters?.........
Those are kin to camels not meeses......
You had me going there for a minute, blam. I thought that pre-Columbian llama figures had been found in the Canary islands. That would be amazing.
I confess...the title got me and my heart quickened too. A connection wouldn't suprise me, proof would.
Did you see this re Kuelap?:
In the middle-southern region of Peru, over the western slope of the Vilcabamba valley and mountain range, in the district of Santa Teresa, very close to the famous and historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, there is an archeological Inca complex called Choquequirao. In the Quechua Andean language, the word Chuqui K’iraw (Choquequirao) means Crib of Gold. Archeologists presume that Choquequirao is one of the many lost cities where the Incas took refuge around 1536, soon after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
The complex is much more than a set of edifications and archaeological vestiges. Its strategic position allows this singular sanctuary to include what it is one of the most extraordinary altitudinal transects in the country. It is surrounded by a series of different ecosystems ranging from snow capped mountains (the Andes), with more than 6,000 meters above sea level, to sweltering tropical valleys, at just 1,800 meters above sea level.
This astonishing archaeological complex consists of nine architectonic stone groups. It has hundreds of platforms, rooms and irrigation systems. The first restoration began in 1960. However, it is not until 1993, that serious restoration and consolidation work was initiated by Peruvian experts under the COPESCO Plan and the Cusco National Institute of Culture. At this time, only 30% of the colossal complex, a total of 1,810 hectares, has been cleared and rehabilitated for both domestic and foreign visitation (IPERU CUSCO, 2004).
The access to Choquequirao is extremely limited. You can only arrive by foot or by horse and/or mule. Currently, there are no proper lodging accommodations or restaurants in the area. This archaeological site, which is still under a clearing and restoration process, has the vast potential of becoming Perus next main Inca cultural heritage attraction...
here’s a llama, another llama, fuzzy llama, funny llama and another little llama...