The Archaeological Complex Puruchuco

The Archaeological Complex PuruchucoThe Archaeological Complex Puruchuco
Complejo Arqueológico de Puruchuco

The Archaeological Complex Puruchuco

Puruchuco (meaning‚ Feather hat in Quecha) is located on km 4.5 of the Carretera Central east out of Lima in today's district of Ate. In the sprawling shantytown called Tupac Amaru lies the pre-Hispanic site, known to archaeologists as Puruchuco-Huaquerones that once was a main ceremonial center of the Incas. During archaeological investigations the archaeologist Guillermo Cock discovered the extent of the hidden settlement.

It appears that the elite of the Inca were buried here, together with common people who probably lived in the nearby hills. Bodies from ten different social classes were found. 500 year old bodies of more than two thousand men, women, and children were excavated from the large Inca graveyard.

Puruchuco Complex Today

It is estimated that the area may contain the human remains of up 10,000. Also recovered with the mummies were nearly 60,000 artifacts, valuables, food and everyday utensils. The well-preserved mummies, the rich textiles and other pieces recovered are for archaeologists the base to discover more details about the Inca Culture and the daily life of the people themselves.

Aerial view of Puruchuco in Lima

Aerial view of the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima 

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Restored constructions at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Puruchuco was once a Ceremonial Center of the Incas

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Puruchuco was once a huge Inca burial ground

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Puruchuco map

As the archaeologists recovered the bodies, they found many of them in so called "mummy bundles", large cocoons that contained up to seven individuals and weighed 180 kilograms. Some of the bundles held adults and children together, wrapped in layers of raw cotton and exquisite textiles. About 40 of the large mummy bundles were decorated with false heads, known as "cabezas falsas" (faked heads). This type of heads was attached to mummy bundles of members of the Inca elite. One of the most important discoveries was the one of "El Rey del Algodón" (the Cotton King). He was wrapped in 150 kg finest cloth and had a "Feather hat". Wrapped and buried with him were an infant and numerous archaeological important objects (food, ceramics, furs...)

Life at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco

Life in the Lima area during Inca times

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Restored construction at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

At Puruchuco in Lima 500 year old bodies of more than two thousand men, women, and children were excavated from the large Inca graveyard.

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

At Puruchuco archaelogists discovered the famous Inca mummy bundles wrapped in finest cloth and decorated with a feather head

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Life at Puruchuco during Inca times

The investigations and excavation works of the biggest Inca cemetery found so far, have uncovered a lot of evidence that will help to understand the Incas much better. The mummy bundles and the amazing artifacts wrapped with them brought many new findings about the life and culture of the Incas that toppled a lot of old theories.

Puruchuco - The first gunshot victim in the "Americas"

In 2004 another amazing discovery was made in Puruchuco during the excavations of the great Inca cemetery. In a new site over 70 chaotically and without any funerary objects buried bodies (this is very uncharacteristic for the Incas) were found. Among them archaeologists discovered the first known gunshot victim in the Americas. Many of the unearthed skeletons showed signs of extreme violent hacking, tearing and impalement with iron weapons.

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

In 2004 archaeologists discovered at Puruchuco the first known gunshot victim in the Americas. This new discovery in Puruchuco is the first evidence of Spanish violence and the proof of their use of firearms.

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Inca skull with bullet hole discovered at Puruchuco

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Investigations at Puruchuco finally proofed Spanish violence and the use of fire arms against the Incas during and after the conquest

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Excavations at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima are ongoing.

But one of the skulls unearthed, clearly shows an entrance and exit wound like those found in gunshot victims. An intensive investigation revealed that this Inca was shot during the Spanish conquest by a musket.

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

At the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima nearly 60,000 artifacts, valuables, food and everyday utensils were discovered

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Inca artifact excavated at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Small golden bowl discovered at Puruchuco

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Inca ceramic excavated at the Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Archaeological Complex of Puruchuco in Lima

Golden Inca mask discovered at Puruchuco

Despite historical documents showing Spanish brutality during the conquest of the "New World", there was only little physical evidence of what actually happened to native South Americans during and after the wars of the conquest. This new discovery in Puruchuco is the first evidence of Spanish violence and the proof of their use of firearms. Since the initial finding at least two other apparent gunshot victims have been discovered.

Puruchuco - The Museum

The on side Archaeological Museum nicely displays objects excavated at the Ruins of Puruchuco.

Museum at Puruchuco

The on side Archaeological Museum nicely displays objects excavated at the Ruins of Puruchuco

Archaeological museum at the Puruchuco ruins in Lima

Archaeological museum at the Puruchuco ruins in Lima

Museum at Puruchuco

Archaeological museum at the Puruchuco ruins in Lima

Museum at Puruchuco

Archaeological museum at the Puruchuco ruins in Lima

Museum at Puruchuco

Archaeological museum at the Puruchuco ruins in Lima

General Info

Street: Off the Carretera Central at km 4.5
District: Ate-Vitarte
City: Lima
Region: Lima
Phone: (+511) 494-2641

Visitors Details

Opening Hours: Tue to Sun 09.00 am to 04.00 pm
Entrance Fees: Adults: S/. 5, Univ. Students: S/. 2, Children: S/. 1
Entrance Fees Info: Guided tours are available in Spanish or English

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