During the Cusco segment of this trip, we were immersed in Inca history and culture but their predecessors were never mentioned, despite their important role in Peruvian history. The presence of other native groups in Lima is much more clear.
Friday was devoted to the study of these older groups, such as the Lima and Wari. We visited a huaca in Miraflores, built by the Lima, which was very different than the Incan architecture we have become accustomed to. The huaca was built out of many small adobe bricks, rather than large stones. The huaca also did not have any stairs; rather, it had ramps. This was a stark contrast to Machu Picchu’s seemingly endless staircases.
After touring the huaca, we went to a museum full of artifacts from pre-Incan groups. One of the most striking artifacts in my opinion was a large patterned cloth, used in funerary rituals, that was dated to 1250 BC to 1 AD. The colors of the cloth were still vibrant and the threads were not fraying—overall, it looked nearly new. I could not believe how well-preserved it was, especially since it predated Christ. How well it lasted was truly a testament to the craftsmanship.
Another item that intrigued me was a human corpse, wrapped in rope and cloth. That cloth was in really good condition as well. There was an x-ray of the bundle which showed a boy with encephalitis. He must have been a child of someone of high status, since it seemed like a lot of effort was put into his burial.