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The 'Llamas' from Choquequirao: A 15th-Century Cusco Imperial Rock Art

The 'Llamas' from Choquequirao: A 15th-Century Cusco Imperial Rock Art

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Published by Gori Tumi
Published in 'Rock Art Research Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 213-223. Australia. By Gori Tumi Echevarría y Zenobio Valencia
Published in 'Rock Art Research Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 213-223. Australia. By Gori Tumi Echevarría y Zenobio Valencia

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Published by: Gori Tumi on Nov 28, 2011
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ROCKARTRESEARCH
TheJournaloftheAustralianRockArtResearchAssociation(AURA)andoftheInternationalFederationofRockArtOrganizations(IFRAO)
ISSN
0813~0426
Volume26,Number2
Melbourne,Australia
November2009
TheBoardofEditorialAdvisers:ProfessorJohnB.Campbell(Australia),ProfessorChenZhaoFu(China),JohnClegg(Australia),MarioCousens(Uruguay),DrBrunoDavid(Australia),ProfessorPaulFaulstich(U.S.A.),DrJosephineFlood(AustraIia/U.K.),
R.
G.Gunn(Australia),ProfessorMike
J.
Marwood(Australia),DrYann-PierreMontelle(NewZealand),ProfessorRoyQuerejazuLewis(Bolivia),PamelaM.Russell(NewZealand),ProfessorDariaSeglie(Italy),DrClaireSmith(Australia),ProfessorB.K.Swartz,[r(U.S.A.),DrGraeme
K.
Ward(Australia).FoundingEditor:RobertG.Bednarik
TheprincipalobjectivesoftheAustralianRockArtResearchAssociationaretoprovideaforumforthedisseminationofresearchfindings;topromoteAboriginalcustodianshipofsitesexternalisingtraditionalAustralianculture;toco-ordinatestudiesconcerningthesignificance,distributionandconservationofrockart,bothnationallyandwithindividualsandorganisationsabroad;andtogenerallypromoteawarenessandappreciationofAustralia'spre-Historicculturalheritage.
ArchaeologicalPublications,Melbourne
 
RockArt
Re.searc"
2009-Volume
26,
Number
2,
/'P.
213-223.C.1:.
ECHEVARRiA
L.
oud
Z.
VALENCIA
G.
213
KEYWORDS:
Llama-Rockart-Architecture-
CUSCO
empire-Tahuantinsuyu-Peru
THEiLLAMAS'FROMCHOQUEQUIRAO:
A
15TH-CENTURYCUSCOIMPERIALROCKART
GoriTumiEchevarrIaL6pezandZenobiaValenciaGarda
Abstract.AsystematicexplorationofthearchaeologicalsiteChoquequirao,Cusco,Peru,hasin2004resulted
in
thefindingofagroupofsemi-naturalisticandgeometricmotifs
that
werecreatedwithnaturalstonesinaseriesofterracesat
this
importantsite,asettlementlocatednexttotheApurimacriverintheAmazonian-AndeanlimitofthemountainrangeoftheAndes.Thisfindingopenedthepossibilityofdevelopingacomprehensiveandcontrolledinvestigationofthesearchaeologicalmaterials,whichwasdeveloped
in
2005.Partoftheanalysescarriedoutincludedtechnicalapproachesofthesefeaturesaswellashistoricalcorrelations.Thispaperpresentsananalysisofthesemi-naturalisticfigures,stressingthepropositionoftheartisticnature,andtheculturalandchronologicalassociationofthese
motifs.IntroductionIn
2004,
thankstotheproject'CadastreandDelimitationoftheChoquequiraoArchaeologicalPark',financedbytheinstitutionCOPESCONational,oneofthemostnotablefindsofPeruvianarchaeologytookplace.Aseriesoffiguresofcamelidselaboratedinwhitestoneswerefoundinagroupofterraces
in
onesectorofthearchaeologicalsiteChoquequirao,whichis
a
15thand16thcenturysettlementassociatedwiththeAndean,empirecalled
Tahuantinsuyu.
Thesefindingswereofficiallyreportedtothe
National
Cui
ture
Institute
(INC)
ofPeru
in
2004
(Valencia
2005;Karp2005),
and
in
2005
the'ArchaeologicalandHistoricalResearchProjectofChoquequirao'sSector
VIII
-LasLlamas'wasplannedandexecuted.Boththediscoveryandtheinvestigationweredir-ectedbythearchaeologistZenohioValenciafromtheUniversitySanAntonio
Abad
of
Cusco,
Duringthe'project'sfieldworkthearchaeologistGoriTumiEchevarriaL6pezfromSanMarcosUni-versityjoinedtheresearchtodesignthespecialisedstrategyforthestudyofthediscoveredimages.Si-multaneouslywiththerockartanalysistheprojectdevelopeddiverseinvestigations,includingthestudyofthetwelvearchitecturalsectorsofthesite,the
study
ofthesector
VIII
terracestructure,thestudyofthesystemofchannelsrelatedtotheterraces,among
The
authorsdedicatethispapertothememoryofCuscoarchaeologistProfessorLuisBarredaMurillo.
others.Differentdataobtainedbytheseworksarereportedinthisarticletoproposethearchaeologicalcontext
of
thisimportantandnewevidenceofAndeanpalaeoart.About
rockart
terminologyAsitwillbeseenbelow,thisis
a
newtypeofculturalexpressionmadeofnaturalrock,whosephysi-calnaturediffersfromtheclassicaldefinition
ofrock
art'(Bednarik
2007:7,209).
Althoughtheterminologyrecognisesvariations
in
thetypologicaldivisionsofrock
art
(petroglyphs,
paintings,
portablepalaeoartandtwotypesofgeoglyphs)bytwoprincipalprocesses,
addi
ti
veandreductive,thereisnoreasonnottoacceptthekindofrockimagerydescribedhereas'rockart'
sensulaio,
especiallyinconsiderationoftheadditiveprocessinvolvedinthefabric,andthisisconsistentwiththeconsiderationofgeoglyphsasrockartinthesamesense.Thearchitectonicalsupportisnotanewfeaturefor
palaeoart,
aswecanseeinarchaeologicalsitessuchasTzintzuntzan
in
Michoacan,Mexico,oreveninCusco(Echevarria
2009),
but
it
isthefirsttimeitisrecordedandstudiedinastructuralframe.
In
theregion'snativelanguagethisphenomenoncanbecalled
quilcapirca
(whichcouldbetranslatedas'rockartonwall').
 
2.14
Rock
Art
Research2009-Vol"","
26,
NHm/,,.,.
2.
1'1'.
213-223.G.
T
EO
tt:
VARRfAL
",,<I
Z.
VALENCIA
G.
Andahoayla.
o
40Km
...Archaeoloqicalsite_Actualtown
..
Cusco
Figure
1.
MapoflocationofChoquequiraointheCuscoregionalarea.
Location
ChoquequiraoislocatedinthelowerhalfoftheApurimacriverbasin,onitsrightmargin,appro~ximately
1500
mabovetheriverbedleveland
3100
mabovesealevel.111ezone
in
whichthesiteislocatedcorrespondstothe'Amazoniaquechua'(Pulgar
1946)
or'AndeanAmazonia'(Morales
1993:621)
naturalregion,characterisedbyamountainoustopographycoveredbyfloraandfaunaofAmazoniantype.
TIlls
locationconstitutestheecologicalboundarybetweenthebirthoftheAmazoninthemountainrangesoftheeasternslopeoftheAndes,andthehighmountainoussemi-desertregionoftheAndes(Fig.
1).
ThearchaeologicalsiteisonanelevatedspurofamountainrangethatborderstheApurimacriverdirectly.Thecentralareaofthesitewaslevelledartificiallytoplacetheprincipalinfrastructureofthesettlement(Fig.2),andthesurroundinghillsideswereterracedingreatextensionstoincorporatenewcultivationlandandsmallresidentialareas.Sector
vrn
ofChoquequirao,wheretherockartislocated,isazoneofterracesofcultivationonamountainslopewhoseterracewallsservedassupportfortherealisationofthenaturalisticimagesandother
Figure
2.
CentralareaofChoquequimowithexposedmonumentalarchitecture.

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