Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Landing in Lima

Post written on Saturday, July 18

After meeting in Miami, the group arrived in Peru early on Saturday morning. The capital of the most archaeologically rich country in South America, Lima, was a great place to get an initial glimpse of the depth and diversity of Peru´s ancient cultures, and there was no better person to introduce us to this topic than National Geographic Archaeologist Guillermo Cock.

Willy has worked extensively with Inca mummies, directing a team that excavated an Inca burial site called Puruchuco. Situated on the rapidly developing outskirts of Lima, Puruchuco is the largest Inca burial site ever discovered - in total, over 1769 intact mummies have been found there! Willy showed us around Puruchuco, telling us about what they discovered from the excavations. One of the most interesting finds were skeletons of people who had been killed by European weapons, the first casualties of the Spanish Conquest ever discovered. Willy also showed us around the remains of a coastal Inca Palace and its small museum. It was an exciting introduction to our expedition!

In the afternoon we had a short siesta and then spent the remainder of the day with a local guide at the fascinating private collection in the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, home to some of the most famous and well preserved artifacts of Peru´s many ancient cultures.

Tomorrow we head to the Sacred Valley to our home base of Ollantaytambo. We are excited to get there and get settled in.

More soon,
Lindsay and Jordan

Archaeologist Guillermo Cock with the group at the ruins of an
Palace in Puruchuco, Lima (photo by Jordan).

The Inca Palace is one of the only remaining examples of
coastal Inca architecture (photo by Lindsay).