Discovering A Pyramid In Lima, Peru

Rising up in the middle of Lima, Peru is a most unusual pyramid. It dominates an upscale section of the city called Miraflores and is estimated to be 1,600 years old. Named Huaca Pucllana or Huaca Juliana it is a massive structure built from adobe and clay bricks in seven massive, staggered platforms.

The site has been an ignored part of the city that was locally viewed as a hill obstructing development. For decades parts of it were removed for building projects and road creation. serious excavation of the hill wasn’t begun until 1981 when multiple pyramids were exposed and ceramics, textiles and tools were discovered. Most recently in 2010, four intact mummies were found undisturbed in a chamber near the top of the structure.

Evidence suggests it was an important ceremonial and administrative center for the “Lima Culture”, a society which developed in the Peruvian Central Coast between the years of 200 AD and 700 AD. The Lima culture occupied the central coast of Peru and constructed Huaca Pucllana around 500 AD. At that time the region was rich farmland with canals branching from the Surco River. Among the Lima people were farmers and fishermen.

The builders of the pyramids used a method called the “library technique” laying these uniform adobe bricks vertically with open spaces in between. These spaces allowed the structure to absorb tremors of earthquakes which are common in the region. They also employed a trapezoidal shape making their walls wider at the base than at the top for additional strength. The central structure is over 80 feet tall with ramps, patios, and a lower main plaza. It was built primarily of these uniform adobe bricks, millions of them and simply stacked row upon row. Most archeologists believe that Huaca Pucllana used to be significantly larger. Unfortunately, during the last century, modern residents have hauled away bricks or built over top of parts of these ancient Lima ruins.

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