« ZurückWeiter »
Cuzco. Occasionally there is search at Cuzco, by means of excavation, for antiquities. Within a few years an important discovery has been made; a lunar calendar of the Incas, made of gold, has been exhumed. At first it was described as “a gold breastplate or sun;” but William Bollaert, who gives an account of it, finds that it is a calendar, the first discovered in Peru. Many others, probably, went to the melting-pot at the time of the Conquest. This is not quite circular. The outer ring is five inches and three tenths in diameter, and the inner four inches. It was made to be fastened to the breast of an Inca or priest. The figures were stamped on it, and there “seem to be twenty-four compartments, large and small, including three at the top. At the bottom are two spaces; figures may or may not have been there, but it looks as if they had been worn away.” It was found about the year 1859. The uniform and constant report of Peruvian tradition places the beginning of this old civilization in the Valley of Cuzco, near Lake Titicaca. There appeared the first civilizers and the first civilized communities. This beautiful valley is the most elevated table-land on the continent, Lake Titicaca being 12,846 feet above the sea level. Were it not within the tropics, it would be a region of eternal snow, for it is more than 4000 feet higher than the beginning of perpetual snow on Mont Blanc. Near it are some of the higher peaks of the Andes, among them Sorato, Illimani, and Sahama.
OTHER RUINS IN PERU.
The ancient Peru conquered and robbed by Pizarro is now divided into Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chili as far down as the thirty-seventh degree of south latitude. Its remains are found to some extent in all these countries, although most abundantly in Peru.
The ruins known as “the Palaces of Gran-Chimu” are situated in the northwestern part of Peru, near Truxillo. Here, in the time of the first Incas, was an independent state, which was subjugated by the Inca set down in the list of Montesinos as the grandfather of Huayna Capac, about a century before the Spaniards arrived. For what is known of these ruins we are chiefly indebted to Mariano Rivero, director of the National Museum at Lima. They cover a space of three quarters of a league, without including the walled squares found on every side. The chief objects of interest are the remains of two great edifices called palaces. “These palaces are immense areas surrounded by high walls of brick, the walls being now ten or twelve yards high and six feet thick at the base.” There was in each case another wall exterior to this. Within the palace walls were squares and dwellings, with narrow passages between them, and the walls are decorated. In the largest palace are the remains of a great reservoir for water, which was brought to it by subterranean aqueducts from the River Moche, two miles distant. Outside the inclosures of these palaces are remains of a vast number of buildings, which indicate that the city contained a great population. The Spaniards took vast quantities of gold from the huacas or tombs at this place. The amount taken from a single tomb in the years 1566 and 1592 was officially estimated at nearly a million dollars. Figure 58 presents an end view of
Fig. --the walls at Gran-Chimu. Figures 59 and 60 represent some of the decorations at Chimu-Canchu.
Figs. 59 and 50–Decorations at Chimu-Canchu.
Remarkable ruins exist at Cuelap, in Northern Peru. “They consist of a wall of wrought stones 3600 feet long, 560 broad, and 150 high, constituting a solid mass with a level summit.” Probably the interior was made of earth. On this mass was another, “600 feet long, 500 broad, and 150 high.” In this, and also in the lower
structure, there are many rooms made of wrought stone, in which are a great number of niches or cells one or two yards deep, which were used as tombs. Other old structures exist in that neighborhood. Farther south, at Huanuco el Wiego, or Old Huanuco, are two peculiar edifices and a terrace, and near them the faded traces of a large town. The two edifices were built of a composition of pebbles and clay, faced with hewn stone. One of them is called the “Look-out,” but it is impossible to discover the purpose for which it was built. The interior of the other is crossed by six walls, in each of which is a gateway, the outer one being finely finished, and showing a sculptured animal on each of the upper corners. It has a large court, and rooms made of cut stones. Connected with this structure was a well-built aqueduct.