Molleturo - Azuay 1/2
archaeology ecuador archaeological sites ecuador molleturo archaeology archeology archeological sites ecuador molleturo
The archaeological site of Paredones de Molleturo is located in the foothills of the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes, 75 km from the city of Cuenca, at a distance of 6 km from the Molleturo parish center. It belongs to the canton of Cuenca, Azuay province.
PHOTO CREDIT: lehamsy

Molleturo is the quichua name of the place, it comes from the words "mulli": tree; and "turu": mud. According to the researcher Encalada in their investigation of the Azuay toponymy, the name given by the canaris in their native language was Chacanceo. The translation to the Spanish is unknown because the dialect has disappeared.

 

The archaeological site of Molleturo walls is composed of different elements spread all over an area of approximately 100 hectares. The ruins are mostly a solid construction of stone blocks carved, primarily andesite, which was placed one above another and joined together with mortar or quillocaca, characteristic of the architectural Inca technique.

 

Since the time of the Cañaris (later the Incas), Molleturo has been strategic place in the middle of the Andes and the coast, as evidence these walls. It is considered that it mainly had residential use because approximately four hundred housing bases structures have been found, which makes the site a village that could be compared with a kind of city.

 

During the Molleturo Inca occupation it was used and readapted to be a Tambo Real, or resting place of travelers and the Inca. Paredones de Molleturo is how people call the set of incasian structures and Atalayas, watchtowers (two pucara or military fortresses in the place), strategic point of passage between sierra and Equatorial coast where were built these structures.

 

It’s is also known that in Molleturo there were constructions of houses, temples, pyramids, towers, squares, altars, irrigation canals, as well as the housing foundation and thousands of steps of the Inca Trail.

 

The Capac Ñan passes through the place. The road allowed to communicate the old Tomebamba with the coast and had the aforementioned Tambo. The site belongs to a short Inca period, late 15th century occupation. Walls that are preserved today measure 0.80 meters wide and 2.40 meters high. The rooms have a single input of 0.80 meters and sometimes several carved and padded stones in the corners and doors.

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