Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peruvian pyramid

ABOVE (1st image): Atop Huaca Pucllana - the name of which comes from Quechua and translates as “a place for ritual games” - stand 2 distinctive examples of the Peruvian hairless dog. The breed made the news in November 2008 when the Obama family was looking to adopt a dog. Claudia Galvez, the head of Peru's Friends of the Hairless Dog Association, offered "Ears" and suggested in a letter, "They do not cause any type of allergy and are very friendly and sweet." Both the dog and the pyramid in Lima predate the Incas by several centuries. Used as hunters and pets by the pre-Incan Chimu, Moche and Chancay cultures, the hairless hounds have roamed the grounds of the temple complex for 3,000 years. Once near extinction, a pair makes its home at each coastal archaeological site by Peruvian governmental mandate.

BELOW (2nd image, see slideshow): Beneath Huaca Pucllana in an intact tomb sealed by a roof of branches, cattails, and adobe bricks repose 1,150-year-old mummy bundles of an elite woman and a child who may have been sacrificed to accompany her into the afterlife. They were found along with the looted tombs of 61 other members of the Wari culture, who replaced the Lima culture and were themselves replaced by the Incas. Workers wrapped the female mummy bundle in tissue paper before lifting it onto a flat wood board and later x-raying it. Workers exposed the face of the woman - dubbed “The Lady of the Mask” - to reveal 2 big, bright blue orbs in her eye sockets. Said one of them, "Her face startled me at first. I wasn’t expecting to find anything like that."

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