Near Tantamaco on the Corani and Macusani district border in southern Peru lies Marca Marca. Settled during pre-Inca times and situated on a hill, the village overlooked the surrounding high Andes valley.
Low level cloud soon replaced beautiful late afternoon light on our October 2016 visit. That didn’t stop guide Ulices, Rocío and I exploring the ruins and searching for ceramic fragments.
Viewed from Marca Marca, the surrounding valley and mountains are covered in dry stone walls and terraces
Looking up the hill to the Marca Marca archaeological site
Marca Marca’s ruins are spread out over a significant area and I expect it was an important town in pre-Inca times. None of the old buildings currently stand and the state of their walls varies.
Rocío (left) and Ulices at one of the better preserved Marca Marca ruins
Marca Marca contained plentiful old ceramic fragments loose on the ground, some with decorative patterns.
Pottery fragments on the ground at Marca Marca
Like at Pitumarka, people had grown potatoes within the Marca Marca ruins in contemporary times. Alpacas and llamas also grazed in and around the site.
Tilled lines of a modern potato field surround by ancient crumbling walls
Ulices to the left and two llamas to the right
The pre-Inca people from Marca Marca hid gold in niches behind and under rocks. Guide Ulices showed us some such niches. Of course, every place had been tampered with by looters or the curious. We also saw prehistoric paintings on one rock face (blogged here).
A niche under a rock with stone construction where pre-Incas may have placed gold
Upon leaving Marca Marca, we handed Ulices the collected ceramic fragments to give to the Macusani Museum. Taking items of cultural heritage like these from Peru (or most other countries) is illegal and it is better to leave them in the district.
The ceramic fragments collected included patterned pieces and round objects likely used in necklaces or bracelets