Monday, June 27, 2011
World wide there are simply too many sites and never enough archeologists, although the decades has actually seen an explosion in investment in this work. So perhaps it really is a case of just waiting your turn. Machu Piccu is well restored as a site and supports a booming tourist industry.
The interest is there and grows every year. The global population is becoming educated and today has access they could only have dreamed about several scant years ago.
Western retirees are out there adopting villages and overseeing revitalization of these places and western aid groups are following them with support. All this is well begun and will only end when the lowliest village is plugged into the modern world and derives revenue from the world at large.
Thus these great sites will one by one revive. For the locals there are paychecks for restoring the site, however long it takes, and hotels to cater to visitors and the inevitable stimulation of the local economy.
We can plan to visit this site in a few years.
Great Ancient Monumental Center in
Lies Forgotten, But Not for
By Dan McLerran Thu, Jun 09, 2011
Known by archaeologists as the "
of the North", the great
ancient Pre-Incan Peruvian site of Marcahuamachuco gets a major facelift. Machu Picchu
The ruins of this mysterious ancient monumental center bespeak a majesty long forgotten through centuries of abandonment and decay. Built over 1,600 years ago atop a highland mesa at 3,200 meters (10,000 feet), it commands a sweeping view of the three northern Peruvian mountain valleys below it. Archaeologists call it the "
of the North", and rightly so. Covering
more than 3 kilometers of land, it is known for its impressively massive
castillos and circular double-walled structures and enclosures. But over the
years, its impressive remains have fallen prey to the elements, both natural
and human-derived, such as weathering, plant growth, livestock grazing, and
lack of conservation. Now, it appears its long decline ends and a new lease on
life begins. Machu
Through a cooperative effort between the Government of Peru, the Unidad Executivo de Marcahuamachuco (UEM, a Peruvian regional development organization), and the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) based in Palo Alto, California, the ancient site of Marcahuamachuco will receive long-in-coming planning, funds, technical resources, and not-a-little local community elbow grease to conserve and restore it to at least a semblance of its former glory. The project is expected to set the stage for a local economic renaissance for the indigenous population. Says Jeff Morgan, Executive Director of GHF, "After intensive investigations, we are pleased to announce Marcahuamachuco as our newest GHF Project. It is one of
Peru's most important archaeological treasures,
and like so many of the country's top heritage sites, it has suffered in the
for too long." The GHF reports that "with excellent potential
to be one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the northern highlands of
Machu Picchu ,
Marcahuamachuco will provide a major focus for economic development in an area
with few opportunities for local communities." Peru
The GHF, in concert with its Peruvian partners, will apply a unique conservation and development strategy that has worked very successfully on scores of similar situations throughout the world. CalledPreservation by Design, the approach employs a methodology of community-based planning, science, development and organizational partnerships to achieve long-term preservation and sustainability. It is hoped that, just as it has done with many other sites and associated communities in other parts of the world, it will capitalize on the cultural heritage of the area to not only renew and resurrect a valuable archaeological treasure, but also reinvigorate the local economy and bring hope and prosperity to an otherwise depressed community. "It is a race against time, the elements and other forces of slow destruction," says one observer, "but it is done very systematically, in a way that will ensure lasting success and a better future for those who are the closest stakeholders - the people who live there."
Marcahuamachuco: Double walls of a circular gallery. Courtesy David Almeida,
Marcahuamachuco: Window openings in a castillo wall section. Courtesy David Almeida,
Archaeological investigations of the site began around 1900 by Max Uhle of the
University of California, ,
when he photographed the site and corrected older maps made of the site by
previous explorers. Theodore McCown of the University of California continued
investigations from 1941 to 1942, producing more detailed maps and developing a
chronology for cultural development at the site. A student of McCown,
John Thatcher, later returned to the site during 1968 - 1969 and 1973 - 1974 to
establish cultural phases and chronologies based on ceramic studies. Since
1981, the Huamachuco Archaeological Project, a Canadian project, has been
conducting studies of the area. Berkeley
Built around 400 A.D. and lasting until 800 A.D., Marcahuamachuco was the center of a Pre-Incan civilization and thought to have been ancient
most important economic, political, spiritual, and military center during that
time period. Some of the site's functions still remain a mystery, but scholars
suggest that it was a religious oracle for the population, later used as a
sacred burial ground. The site consists of several major compounds surrounded by
curved stone walls, in some places as much as 12 meters high, with interior
plazas, rooms and galleries that are interpreted by archaeologists to have
served ceremonial and administrative functions. Peru
Marcahuamachuco is GHF's second project in Peru, joining Chavín de Huántar, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site high in the
Andes mountains. The successful work done at Chavín de
Huántar will, in part, serve as a model for the work being done at
Cover Photo, Top: Marcahuamachuco: Remains of a castillo. Courtesy David Almeida,