Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Archaeological Site Trip

I found an archaeological site near where we are staying in Durango - since it is only 14 km away and in the opposite direction of the city, it made a great adventure for the day.

It took only few minutes to pack a picnic and we set out Zona Arqueológica la Ferrería - this was a very simple route, hardly any traffic and we didn't get lost at all.  During our drive out to the site we again saw a group of Federal police at at an intersection and it is obvious that there is a serious effort to ensure the safety of people in this country by having a clear presence of armed Federal police.

This site was originally discovered in 1948 and some excavation was started 4 years later by students from the university of Chicago but it was quickly abandoned there has been some sporadic research there since 1994 but it mostly untouched now.

The site is on a hill next to the Tunal river and it is a beautiful but arid area with lots of farming in the area. It was originally inhabited by a nomad group and then by a sedentary group that built the larger structures on the hill

There are many structure remains that are clearly visible and even a replica structure that we went into.
In Center of replica house

Looking out of the 'door' of the replica house

As you can see, it looks as though some of these structures were laid out to take advantage of the magnificent views from on top of the hill, in reality, this is a religious or spiritual site so the layout was more to do with the alignment of the sun and the stars and the equinoxes etc. than the views of the land and the river below.

There is a small museum which contains some artifacts (even a full set of bones of one of the previous occupants) and historical information.

Sala de Columnas
The “columns hall” are remnants of a small platform made of stone with large cylindrical columns, probably a meeting place for rituals.

Mortero Fijo - This is one of the large rocks used to grind grain.

The sunglasses are placed to show the enormous size of this rock and grinding area.

We don't have to go all the way to Egypt to see pyramids - here is part of one of the pyramids in La Ferreria.  Not only that, the views from on top of the pyramid are spectacular.

Nature in the area was pretty spectacular as well - I can only hazard a guess at how old these prickly pear plants are!

And who are these beautiful vultures waiting for?

Since Ferreria means foundry, I was not surprised to find some old mine entrances around the area.

After our hike around the site we picnicked in the shade of trees in the cobblestone parking lot and then took a drive around the area, returning to our digs by an alternate route.  As always we saw some interesting sites.

From field to road and a friendly wave for the camera

Returning with a load of feed topped with a bicycle

Cattle be led to the irrigation canal for watering.

Doing laundry in the same canal

For Ian and Chene, I know that you know these trees well - I was surprised to find them here in Durango looking as spectacular as they are in Pretoria.
Glorious Jacaranda all around the little town

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