The Archaeological Museum Ernst W. Middendorf, named after the great German doctor and pioneer of archaeological investigations in Peru, is located inside the Parque de las Leyendas and surrounded by an area of high historical and archaeological value. Already over 2000 years ago, the first "limeños" started building pyramids, temples and dwellings on these grounds.
Over time, different cultures occupied the complexes, added constructions and expanded them to the glorious city of Maranga in today's districts of Cercado de Lima (central Lima), Pueblo Libre and San Miguel. After the arrival of the Spaniards, the complex was abandoned and nearly forgotten. Due to neglect, ignorance and urban growth, many ancient constructions were destroyed. But luckily a few are left that are being investigated and preserved. Within the Archaeological Complex Maranga are 53 of these ancient buildings that are invaluable relics of the pre-Hispanic culture.
The aim of the Museo de Sitio Ernst W. Middendorf (opened in January 2003), is to investigate, preserve, restore and protect the legacy of the Maranga for future generations and to increase the knowledge about and the awareness of this important cultural patrimony. The museum exhibits not only interesting artifacts and mummies found in the different religious and ceremonial centers, but as well explains the development of the area with its different cultures. Additionally, the small museum offers educational programs like archaeological workshops for kids and workshops about preservation and restoration.