Petroglyp of Loma Alta
looks like an enormous black egg embeded on the mountain slope.
Photos by Estany
Tineo. Cambia a español.
– “No, sir, the truck to Coletas departures tomorrow at
five in the morning and gets back in the afternoon, assures us the
driver of a motorcycle used as a taxi throough the tortuos dusty ways
around this town. It is obvious that Juan, the driver, is trying to
convince me for hiring the service.
Thursday afternoon and since we have arrived to organize a minimum
recognition logistics of the
petroglyph our partner Marco Paulini reported last July,
we’ve just found supporting promises but very few options for
visiting the monolyth which highlights a spiral trace carved on
you going to The Devils’ Rock? That rock is bad! Pregnant women
don’t pass over there,” a sixty-year-old lady warns me
when she listens to my negotiation process with Juan. I take a little
time to chat, hustle our producer estany Tineo, and try to whisper
what we learned exploring wit Archeologist Daniel
exploration we did between 2009 and 2011,
we found tales of lights appearing suddenly in the croplands,
overflying them, were clues that some archeological site was over
there. And certainty was hundred per cent every case.
are not here but ‘charms’.
another place are grudged rocks?,” I ask the woman.
the river, down there, an enormous place, uuh, an awful place,”
she answers me.
day later, Sapillica [pronounce “Sapijicah”] District
Municipality’s Alesban López will confirme me there are,
at least, five sites with petroglyps and wankas
(rare-shaped rocks considered as totems) only in Masías Bajo
[pronounce “Maseeas Baho”] Community, not discarding more
places across the 267.09 sq km distric, almost 27000 soccer fields.
a little larger than Malingas and it’s abrupt because it’s
already on the first slopes of Andean Western Range.
gets me out of my thinkings. “Do or don’t we go on the
look at Estany, I look at Marco, I apply guessing instead of common
go,” I say.
looks for another two partners and we organize an expedition what
will takes one hour tripping, going up from 1400 meters to 1500
meters altitude, about 18 km to the south east of Sapillica town. I’m
interested in getting there before 5:30 pm. for having a decent
Light what allows Estany to take pictures of the stone. His eye is
already trained after Malingas experience, so he will help me to
complement Marco’s first observation more proppedeutic focus,
and what I could contribute not being an Archeology specialist but
advised by Daniel Dávila, more prospective focus so.
counting the dust, we arrived into the site in the scheduled time.
Ten minutes before, we have cross over Loma Alta Creek, a.k.a. White
Stones, and getting there, we hear anoter creek down the mountain,
that, according to Masías Bajo’s local governor Daniel
Berrú, is Coletas. Other minor flows segment the way before
arriving to the petroglyph.
rock is near Loma Alta Village and Marco calls my attention about the
place name (high hill in English): “When you get out of
Sapillica early in the morning, you get to see how the Sun raises
from the mountain top, as if it born there,” he explains me.
“When I saw that for the first time, I said the mountain had
something special, and the rock is there, actually.”
this story’s pre-production, we considered to go out eeearliest
of Sapillica for making this picture, but we fasted forward so it
will happen the next time. In the other hand, we have to rush up
because it will be six o’clock in the afternoon very soon, and
if I don’t want blurry photographs, I don’t want my crew
gets back the base when the night starts to fall neither.
removing some branches of a gate, we go a path on, a big hunch
aactually that gets us away the way, and the big blacky rock is
turning straight to the right, invaded by lichen and undergrowth.
first surprise is its oval contour, not flat like the rest of
petroglyphs we have visited and even samanga’s,
the best studied. The formation looks like a huge egg embeded on the
mountain slope, and they carved the spiral, the anthropomorphic
shape, what seems eyed faces, and a thing we can’t identify,
and letters there. Letters? Yes, letters.
is obvious that somebody wrote a sucession of several Latin
alphabet’s characters, what seems to be a predation evidence
but already known by the locals, so the second surprise goes here: if
you ask for Loma Alta Petroglyph, novody will response, but if you
ask for the Lettered
then we will be referring to the same site.
this feature questions us the key name we gave it in the crew –
Paulini Petroglyph. It’s evident that local people knew it so
much time ago, and inclusive Alesban López had released it on
Bajo’s Facebook account
some months before FACTORTIERRA.NET published it, but it seems not to
cross over the public opinion.
sign the people request us to check out is a cross carved on the top
of the rock. We ask if this is very old and if it is related to the
haunted place’s idea, as the woman in Sapillica said us just a
couple off hours before. An
drivers climb the rock, become part of the exploration crew better
than we expected. Excellent.
we looked for is some publicity for the place and the work we want to
do, and an enthusiastic collaboration as well. Learning with fun. Is
there another successful way to do pedagogy?
all measure the rock height. 7.1 meters in its most exposed part, 5.2
meters in its less exposed part. It’s difficult to measure its
contour due to its soval hape but we estimate its half-perimeter can
be about five meters. In any case, more specialized equipment could
have a more accurate measure and its geolocation as well.
go to remove the undergrowth,” Juan suggests his fellas. I only
recommend they to be very careful for not creating additional lines
to the rock, those predate it more.
6:10. Go fast with the selfies because we have to come back and it’s
beginning to be cold.
District still keeps evidences to study including a cave where, they
assure, there are ancient bones.
necessary money to launch a large investigation and confirm if the
Archeologist Dávila’s first hypotheses is trrue: they’re
part of a jíbaro corridor and belong to so-called Samanga
despite the backache of one of the guys, we feel satisfied for
reaching the petroglyph on the right time. Tomorrow will be Friday
and it will begin to rain.
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