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Maranga Culture - skectch of Huaca San Marcos from 1873 (in the background Huaca Concha

The Maranga or Lima Culture (150AD-700AD)

Lima History & Cultures (Part 3)

After the decline of the Chavin a new civilization arose in the area of Lima around 150 AD which brought great progress and changes to the region. The Maranga Culture or also called Lima Culture inhabited at first only the area of today's districts of Callao, La Punta, Bellavista and La Perla. Having adapted and refined the agricultural and irrigation knowledge of the Chavin, they were able to use the available resources better and cater for a bigger population.

The Lima civilization constructed the first channels from the Rimac River to irrigate the dessert lands at the outskirts of Callao and the eastern parts of the valley. Even today parts of these channels still exist. This irrigations system was an outstanding achievement of engineering for that time. To maintain the channels and ensure an equal distribution of the water among the people an advanced social organization was required.

The Urban Centers of the Maranga in Lima

The Maranga soon spread throughout the valley and populated the whole region of today's Lima. They built extensive urban centers with monumental pyramidal structures, known as huacas which later were altered and extended by following cultures. The center of their administrative, economical and religious activities was the ancient city of Maranga. It contained impressive huge monuments, numerous pyramids, palaces, temples, administrative centers, an ancient wall, roads, residential areas, water reservoirs and irrigation channels. Remains of this vast settlement can still be found partly beautiful restored in the Parque de las Leyendas in Lima's district San Miguel.

Pyramidal structures that date back to the Maranga culture are Huaca San Marcos, Huaca Concha, Huaca Middendorf and Huaca Potosi Alto. It is believed that centers built outside the ancient city of Maranga like the Huaca Huallamarca in Lima's district of San Isidro and the Huaca Pucllana in Lima's district of Miraflores were used by the expanding population of the Maranga as administrative centers for their different irrigation zones. According to partly proven assumptions of leading experts the Lima culture also built the oldest structures of the famous Archaeological Complex of Pachacamac including the Old Pachacamac Temple (Huaca Lima) and another undiscovered construction lying under the great Temple of the Sun.

The Maranga are believed to have also laid the foundation of the ancient city of Cajamarquilla and another ancient city only slightly smaller than Maranga referred to as Limatambo or Huacas de Lince at the border of today's districts of San Isidro and La Victoria. Unfortunately from the at least 11 structures only two, the Huaca Santa Catalina and the Huaca Bolconcillo, partly survived.

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