Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 39, Bolivia

Good morning......from Santa Cruz, Bolivia.....

Our friend Josi is going to take us, by bus, to visit El Fuerte de Samaipata, an archaeological site and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Located in the remote mountains of central Bolivia, 120 kilometers from the town of Santa Cruz, the ruins of Samaipata are one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in all of South America. Perched at 6500 feet above sea level (1949 meters), the site was first discovered by the early Spanish and named 'El Fuerte' as it was believed to have military significance. Archaeologists no longer believe in the military use of the site but consider that it had religious significance.

Josi explains that the ruins of Samaipata consist of two parts:
1) the stone hill with many fascinating carvings of jaguars, snakes, other zoomorphic and geometrical figures, a water tank with conduits, and a curious seating arrangement, and
2) an area to the south of the stone hill that seems to have been the administrative and residential district.
The seating arrangement at the top of the stone hill was designed with 12 seats carved into the hilltop facing toward each other in a circle. Within this circle of 12 seats is another set of three seats facing outward toward the 12 seats. These three seats are back-to-back, so that each seat faces 4 of the seats of the 12.

The archaeological site at El Fuerte is unique and it encompasses buildings of three different cultures: Chanes, Incas and Spaniards.

Due to damage caused by visitors walking on the symbols cut into the rock and by erosion caused by waterfall, the inner area is cordoned off to prevent more damage and the site is under the care of Stonewatch.

Upon arrival Marti looks for the flying saucer landing strip........huh???

El Cascabel
The most important feature of El Fuerte seems to be El Cascabel ( can be translated as 'The Rattle'.)

Look!! Two parallel lines point to certain points in the eastern sky at a position of azimuth 71° and an altitude of about 6.75° . Some archaeologists contend that unusual carvings on the rocks may be from a pre-Inca civilization on this Amazonian slope has been constructed in honour of the return of Halley's Comet in the year 1066 AD.

One could have looked along the parallel lines, standing on the place of observation in front of the Inca-wall at the foot of El
Fuerte and watched the parallel rising of two planets at sunrise on August 20, 1066 above both lines against the background of constellation Leo: Venus and Jupiter.

More recently, it has been pronounced to be
a flying saucer launching and landing site by Erich Von Daniken, and all of us actually like this idea of UFOs and extra terrestrials.....wooooo.

Once again we admire the work of a lost civilisation........ a rich culture we will probably never completely understand many unanswered questions........we simply loved it!

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