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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cochasqui Pre-Inca Pyramids

One of the must see historical and archeological sites near Quito is the Pyramids of Cochasqui. To get there you can take a bus from Quito to Tabacundo (about an hour) and then take a taxi trip up to the nearby Pyramids. Before the Inca conquest of the early 1500's this region was occupied by the Quitu-Cara culture. They occupied the area between present-day Quito and Otavalo, Ecuador. In the 1800's the land where the pyramids are was part of a hugh hacienda. The owners wondered what the earthen mounds were. About 1912 the owner dug into one of the larger mounds, leaving a jagged scar across it. In the 1930's the first archeological excavation took place revealing over 500 sculls in a room inside of the pyramid. Since that time archeologist have determined that the 15 pyramids and numerous tolas (burial mounds) built before the Inca conquests were for religious, military and astrological purposes. We are told that the Quitu-Cara people, as they saw the impending approach of the Inca closing in, began a process of burying the entire pyramid complex under several meters of dirt. This left the mounds that we see today. Below the earth covering you will find block pyramids reaching up to five or six stories in height. The visit is well worth the time and effort to travel outside Quito. For Ecuadorians the cost is $1; for visitors from other countries it is $3. It is a guided tour. Be sure to check out Cochasqui Pyramids (GC2PXXH). It is located off the property and should be available at any time. Happy caching!
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