La ciudad sagrada de Caral

caral supeEl 5000-años de edad, sitio arqueológico 626 hectáreas de la Ciudad Sagrada de Caral-Supe está situado en una meseta desierta y árida que domina el valle verde del río Supe. Su origen se remonta al Período Arcaico tardío de los Andes Centrales y es el centro más antiguo de la civilización en las Américas. Excepcionalmente bien conservado, el sitio es impresionante en términos de su diseño y la complejidad de su arquitectura, en especial sus monumentales de piedra y plataforma tierra y los patios circulares hundidas. Uno de 18 asentamientos urbanos situados en la misma zona, Caral características complejas y arquitectura monumental, que incluye seis grandes estructuras piramidales. Un quipu (el sistema de nudo se utiliza en las civilizaciones andinas para registrar la información) que se encuentra en el sitio atestigua el desarrollo y la complejidad de la sociedad Caral. El plan de la ciudad y algunos de sus componentes, incluidas las estructuras piramidales y residencia de la élite, muestran evidencia clara de funciones ceremoniales, lo que significa una ideología religiosa de gran alcance.

Declaratoria de la ciudad sagrada de Caral-Supe como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad

Durante el 33 periodo de sesiones del Comité del Patrimonio Mundial, realizado en Sevilla, España, entre el 22 y el 30 de junio del 2009, a través de la Decisión 33COM 8B. 38. se declaró a la ciudad sagrada Caral-Supe como patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. El valor universal excepcional del sitio arqueológico fue sustentado en los criterios ii), iii) y VI) de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial.

Síntesis histórica del bien

The Sacred City of Caral-Supe reflects the rise of civilisation in the Americas. As a fully developed socio-political state, it is remarkable for its complexity and its impact on developing settlements throughout the Supe Valley and beyond. Its early use of the quipu as a recording device is considered of great significance. The design of both the architectural and spatial components of the city is masterful, and the monumental platform mounds and recessed circular courts are powerful and influential expressions of a consolidated state.

During its period of occupancy, approximately 1,000 years, Caral was remodelled several times. In fact, almost all of the buildings show successive periods of occupation.

Research carried out by a cross-disciplinary team has demonstrated that although the Supe Valley settlements were occupied in 3000 B.C., it was not until 2600 B.C. that their occupants became part of an organised social system with a "capital zone" in the lower middle valley. And it was this zone that was the centre of the most outstanding social and cultural tradition of the time.

Based on socio-cultural information and dating data, the theory has been posited that the influence of the social system of Supe first affected the populations of the nearest valleys. It then extended further and, by 2200 B.C., its influence had spread as far south as the archaeological site of El Paraiso in the Chillón Valley, and to all the valleys northward as far as the Santa River Valley.

The chronological sequence is summarised as follows:
- Remote Period (before 3000 B.C.): Land possession by groups of families/lineages.
- Ancient Period (3000-2600 B.C.): "Capital zone" growth; plazas and impressive buildings constructed.
- Final Middle Period (2300-2200 B.C.): Buildings enlarged in area and volume; large platforms and plazas constructed.
- Initial Late Period (2200-2100 B.C.): Public buildings remodelled; plazas constructed with quadrangular platform framework.
- Final Late Period (2100-1800 B.C.): Public buildings remodelled (using smaller stones); occupation of site reduced.

Throughout the occupancy of the site, there have been periods of great change, and it is possible to see clear distinctions in the design and architecture of the city, and the burial and renewal of buildings. There have also been minor changes or phases within each of the periods.

Each period is distinguishable from the one preceding it in several ways: elements of architectural style; building techniques; materials; and the colour of paint used on walls.

However, the overall design is maintained as well as the associated cultural traditions and building functions.

Valor universal excepcional(VUE)

Criterio ii: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
Caral is the best representation of Late Archaic architecture and town planning in ancient Peruvian civilisation. The platform mounds, sunken circular courts, and urban plan, which developed over centuries, influenced nearby settlements and subsequently a large part of the Peruvian coast.

Criterio iii: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
Within the Supe Valley, the earliest known manifestation of civilisation in the Americas, Caral is the most highly-developed and complex example of settlement within the civilisation's formative period (the Late Archaic period).

Criterio iv: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
Caral is impressive in terms of the design and complexity of its architectural and spatial elements, especially its monumental earthen platform mounds and sunken circular courts, features that were to dominate a large part of the Peruvian coast for many centuries.

Integrity and authenticity
Caral is remarkably intact, largely because of its early abandonment and late discovery. Once abandoned, it appears to have been occupied only twice and then not systematically: once in the so-called Middle Formative or Early Horizon, about 1000 B.C.; and once in the States and Lordships period, between 900 and 1440 A.D. Since both these settlements were on the outskirts of the city, they did not disturb the ancient architectural structures. In addition, since the site lacked gold and silver finds, there was little looting. The site has no modern permanent constructions in its immediate surroundings (except for tourism facilities built from local materials). It is part of a cultural and natural landscape of great beauty, relatively untouched by development. Most development has occurred in low valley areas near Lima (to the south of the site). The middle Supe Valley, where the site is located, is an area dedicated to non-industrialised agriculture. There is little argument about the authenticity of the site. Radiocarbon analysis carried out by the Caral-Supe Special Archaeological Project (PEACS) at the Caral site confirms that the development of the site can be located in time between the years 3000 to 1800 B.C. and, more specifically, to the Late Archaic Period.


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