In the middle of nowhere with dead people
Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
273Trip End Oct 08, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The cemetery at Chuachilla is located approximately 30 km south of Nazca city. In case you thought it was a town, itīs not. Itīs just a random place in the middle of the desert that had a village in it thousands of years ago. Or at least thatīs what they believe.
When the government got a hold of the cemetery, it had already been pretty much destroyed by grave robbers, who wanted the gold, ceramics and textiles from the graves. Think Egypt. The government then decided to recreate the cemetery and make it tourist friendly
Unfortunately, the open manner of burial also allowed grave robbers to find the graves relatively easily. Because the entire landscape had long since been covered by sand, the grave robbers would walk through the desert with a stick and poke about
The mummies were of an unknown social distinction, possibly a caste of note, such as nobility or soldiers, and the cemetery dates back to pre-Inca times. In the small museum at the cemetery they have a description of the history and the manner in which the cemetery was found and researched. They also have the only true mummy in a case for viewing. It had skin, while all the other mummies have maybe patches of skin and their own hair, but no mummified skin on their exposed bones. Theyīre kind of old, so itīs excusable. Most of the mummies did have hair, and it was crazy long dreads. I know some people who would be seriously jealous. There are also two mummified children - a baby without a head and a small child. Itīs a little disturbing.
I must make a note for all of you before you get weirded out by the photos. Shortly after we arrived, Travis decided that his normal lens was unacceptable and strapped on the telephoto. So we have a lot of up close and personal shots of the friendly faces
The end of our tour included a demonstration of gold extraction and of ceramic making. They were both really surprisingly interesting. They were also designed to get us into the shops to buy their wares. And I kind of wanted to, but itīs hard to travel with jars.
P.S. If you want to know about either of these demonstrations, just email and weīll let you know...or if we get innundated weīll make another entry, but I think itīs just better to experience it.