Sunday, June 23, 2019

Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part III

Continued from the previous post regarding the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling complex covering a thousand square miles.
    The Lima culture was an indigenous civilization which it is believed existed during the Early Intermediate Period, extending from roughly 100 to 650 AD. This pre-Incan culture, which overlapped the surrounding Paracas, Moche, and Nasca civilizations, was located in the desert coastal strip of Peru in the Chillón, Rímac, and Lurin river valleys; however, in both time and area, archaeologists claim it is difficult to differentiate the Lima culture from surrounding cultures due to both its physical proximity to other, and better documented cultures, in Coastal Peru, and because it is chronologically very close, if not over lapped, by these other cultures as well.
Unique construction of the mud-brick method of building, used extensively in the greater Lima area made completely of adobe “adobitos”—small sized adobes modeled by hand and stacked for walls and supports. The building material found throughout Pachacamac and Lima area
It might be noted that these older monumental constructions were built using hundreds of thousands of mud bricks, in a style known as “book shelf” style because that bricks of the walls appear like books stacked on a shelf. Large numbers of these “books” gradually lean at an angle until they push against others leaning in an opposite angle (such as:||||////\\\\\\||||). It was in this manner that the Lima’s constructions resisted earthquakes.
    Obviously, these cultures that dominated these valleys in what is today the Greater Lima Metropolis were quite advanced in their building techniques—much more than numerous peoples that followed them in Andean Peru, though are basically unknown and undifferentiated to any degree that provides an insight into whether they were one extensive culture or many separate ones.
    As part of this greater Lima archaeological complex was the ancient city area of Maranga, also known as the Maranga huacas, located in the lower valley of the Rímac River, in Lima, Peru. It includes several remains of monumental pyramids built in adobe, as well as other structures such as housing complexes, walls and canals.
    One of the distinct locations within the Maranga, which was located on the left bank of the Rímac River, in what is today the Lima, San Miguel and Pueblo Libre districts, covering a large area, included between the campus of the National University of San Marcos, the Naval Hospital and adjoining urbanizations, the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and the park and zoo of the Parqu de las Leyendas.
    One of the various pyramidal settlements in this area is the Huaca San Marcos.
Huaca San Marcos in the greater Lima area

Huaca San Marcos. 
This was a spacious area, with large open distances and numerous spaces between palaces and buildings. The settlements of "Huaca San Marcos," "Huaca Middendorf," and "Huaca Concha" formed the first real ceremonial and administrative complex in what is now called Maranga. These three complexes were extended, upwards and to the sides and additional smaller huacas built around them not long after the original settlement. 
    The site is a representative example of the architecture of the immense architectural complex of Maranga, and was initially called "Aramburú" before the University was built around it and the name changed. Currently, the so-called Mound 22, a smaller huaca located to the south, preserves the old name "Aramburú." The entire area was built during the time of or just before the Lima Culture and today an area of 205 square feet rests on a base 1090-feet wide by 450-feet long, within the University of San Marcos. The central part with its five platforms and three adjacent parts were built mainly with "adobitos,” with only a few mud walls having so far been uncovered.
    Inside the huaca at San Marcos, numerous mummy bundles have been excavated by asrchaeologists, along with the remains of vegetables, fish, bones and ceramics from different cultures as well as amazing ancient drawings, all dating to the last half of the first century BC. Unfortunately, the monument and his historical value were badly damaged due to the urban growth and the expansion of the University of San Marcos. At least "Huaca San Marcos" still exists.
    According to Dr. Shelia Pozorski, professor at the University of Texas-Pan America and long-time investigator of pyramids and ancient ruins in Andean Peru, claims that recent research carried out by her and her husband, Tom, have shown that rather than early Peruvian cultures first developing on the coast and then working inland, that both the coastal areas and the inland areas developed at the same time (Henry Fountain, “Archaeological Site in Peru is Called Oldest City in Americas,” New York Times, April 27, 2001).
    This should be especially of interest to Book of Mormon researchers, historians and theorists that such development in Andean South America mirrors the scriptural record and not that of other locations. 
Huaca Middendorf was part of the ancient city of Maranga, and located in the northern part of today's "Parque de las Leyendas" close to the compound of University San Marcos 

Huaca Middendorf
Named after Ernst Wilhelm Middendorf, the great German doctor and pioneer known for his archaeological investigations in Peru, is located in the northern part of today's "Parque de las Leyendas" close to the compound of University San Marcos. Together with the "Huaca San Marcos" and "Huaca Concha" it formed the first ceremonial and administrative complex within the ancient City of Maranga. The huge pyramid was built during the Lima Culture mainly out of "adobitos." The complex is formed by two sections, "Hill A" and "Hill B". "Hill A" is the higher one in the south and has four platforms. 
Huaca Concha
The "Huaca Concha", on the premises of the University of San Marcos, was one of the highest pyramids of the Lima Culture in the ancient City of Maranga. Together with "Huaca San Marcos" and "Huaca Middendorf" was part of the first administrative center. Unfortunately, in the 20th century the expansion of the University ended up with the construction of a football stadium literally on top of the "Huaca Concha" (after demolishing and flattening the peak of the pyramid). This nearly completely destroyed the highly valuable and important historical complex. Even the discovery of significant archaeological objects during and after the construction phase did not stop renovation works of the stadium in the 1990's with even more damages done to the few remains of the "Huaca Concha."
    Archaeologist found yellow painted floors and adobe bricks. "Hill B", the smaller one, has at least two platforms and was presumably used as a cemetery. Only a few investigations of the huaca have been conducted but the whole structure has been stabilized to protect it from further deterioration. Hopefully studies will continue and this historical and archaeological monument will be restored. 
The Huaca Cruz Blanca was part of the Maranga Archaeological complex, inside today's "Parque de las Leyendas" 

Huaca Cruz Blanca
This was an important administration and ceremonial center for the "Chieftain of Maranga," and used in the period of regional chiefs and señoríos and was located in the "Parque de las Leyendas" has a rectangular shape and is divided into two sectors. The Huaca Cruz Blanca is built mainly using mud walls and contains many platforms, stairways, large walls and wide enclosures with public squares, open spaces and niches. 
    This enormous archaeological complex, one of the largest in the province of Lima, rose in its time over a fertile and extensive valley, now completely covered by the disorderly urban expansion. The site encompassed and middle and lower valleys of the Lurín and Rímac rivers, on the central coast at a time when the people dominated the area, and were associated with Pachacamac. There is little known about the site other than it began around the last of the first century BC, and almost nothing about it until the 7th Century AD.  
     In 1992 and 1993 the higher part was conserved and reconstructed, in 2003 the lower part. The archaeological site is open to the public and worth a closer look. 
(See the next post, “Urban Sprawl of Ancient Zarahemla – Part IV,” for more on the vast number of architectural sites in the greater Lima area that once made up a sizeable sprawling settlement covering a thousand square miles, but now mostly covered over by building expansion of Lima area.

No comments:

Post a Comment