Perched on the corner of Cuesta del Almirante, the Inka Museum gives visitors a very brief glimpse into the ancient history of Peru. You will know when you are there by the dancing water fountain just outside.
The two-storey building is sectioned into the different epochs of Andean cultures, giving you a brief introduction to each before launching into a fully-blown unfolding of the Inca Empire which began in the 14th Century.
Built across three floors, the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan is a stand out feature against the small, somewhat dated buildings squatting in the backdrop. Shaped like a pyramid with a huge red slope leading to the entrance, it has a distinctive golden design of Ai Apaec, the Moche creator God, on the front wall.
It is a fairly large museum and contains over 1400 artefacts including ceramics, jewellery and clothing. But it is not so much the artefacts themselves that most interest me, but the symbols which I consistently find on them.
I have written at length over the course of this book about the symbols used by the ancients and have done my best to explain what they mean, or at least what they may mean. For example, you will remember one of the most prominent symbols is the snake or serpent. It appears everywhere and represents wisdom and the underworld or spirit within. It is very present again in Moche and Lambayeque artefacts.
Built across three floors, the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan is a stand out feature against the small, somewhat dated buildings squatting in the backdrop. Shaped like a pyramid with a huge red slope leading to the entrance, it has a distinctive golden design of the Ai Apaec symbol, the Moche creator God, on the front wall.
What is the true story behind the history of mankind?
In 1928, the esteemed Peruvian archaeologists, Julio Tello excavated a 2km stretch of coastline along the Paracas peninsula in the south-west of Peru.
During the field work, Tello unearthed a massive graveyard containing some 300 skeletons. What is most striking about the remains are the elongated skulls, which in some cases are 25% bigger than the average human brain.
I imagine the first thought that springs to mind when most people see these skulls for the first time is: aliens. But let’s not go there shall we.
When I was at the Inca ruins talking to Walter about my research, he suggested I get in touch with his friend Paul. So I did.
Paul was also a local guide, pleasant, chatty and in good shape. His thick black hair and a long narrow face is typical of Peruvians, and so too the smile that seems to be continually fixed to his jaw. He suggests I might like to go into the mountains to a little indigenous village named Willocq where I can meet Mama Yupanqui – the last surviving descendant of the Inca King, Manco Tupac. I jump at the chance! Continue reading Book Extract – An Interview With The Last Descendant of the Inca, Willocq, Peru→
Having finished investigating the Inca in the southern climes of Peru, I am ready to continue my journey to explore the Andean cultures from other parts of the country. These earlier cultures would be the inspiration for the Inca to extend their empire. The first stop is the Wari who built their epicentre high in the Andes Mountains near the humble town of modern day Ayacucho. But getting there from Cusco was the worst bus ride ever!
Cusco to Ayacucho is not high on the list of most visitors to Peru, and thus not covered by the bus companies that cater for tourists. The only bus company that takes the route is Expreso Los Chankas and I wasn´t sure what to expect.