Tulipe - Pichincha 1/2
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The archaeological place of Tulipe is located 70 km northwest of Quito, in the parish of Nanegal, Pichincha province.
PHOTO CREDIT: QUITO ADVENTURE

In this Andean alley the ancient inhabitants of Tulipe established their culture. Tulipe is a word from the quitu-cara language which means «water that comes from the tolas». Tulipe, according to the studies, is part ot the “integration period” and its main development dates from 800 to 1660 A.C, time in which became an important religious center where most representative ceremonies of the yumbo town were celebrated.


But the archaeologists have had notable careful with this chronology because according to the archaeological analysis Tulipe also has evidence of two more periods: the formative period, and the period of Inca conquest.


Settlements or villages of this culture extended to Nanegal, Pacto, Gualea, Mindo, Cachillacta, Bolaniguas, Cocaniguas, Nono, and it is considered the limits were the shores of Ecuador extending to western foothills of the mountain range.


The yumbos had a social organization that is extremely similar to the ethnic Lordships, Señoríos Etnicos, of the Sierra of Ecuador, characterized by the presence of marked classes and the division of work.

 

The current archaeological site has seven cave-in structures into the ground and two spaces known with the name of the "bath of the Inca", in addition to terraces of stone, petroglyphs in the nearby rivers and connecting roads. The lower spaces resemble pools that were used as a mirror of water. In total there are seven structures dug in the ground, protected with rectangular and semicircular-shaped stone masonry stonework, which are located in a way that form a horizontal cross.

 

There is also a polygonal structure of twenty sides which filled with water from another square tank. The seventh pool is far away from the others and the visitors have to walk by a 1 Km nature trail. Pools have stairs of access, channels and water connections.


The mentioned artificial low lands were a ceremonial center, in which water was an element of ritual, a sacred item as well as source of life. The water was also used in the most important religious actors such as initiation, purification and fertility.


All these data suggest that the Yumbos had a well-defined organization of the spaces: some were planned for housing, others for agriculture and the pools for religious practices. Ceramic remains and two thousand tolas or truncated pyramids have been found. These tolas have 20 meters height, formed with accumulation of land. Some of them have ramps and stairs.


These Yumbo’s tolas served to regulate the territory and the social hierarchy of the family that occupied them. Evidence also bring to light that there are variants between each tola: some have square platforms, other rectangular and a few ovoid shapes. It’s also supposed they were built as sites of astronomical observation, religious practices and in very few cases for funeral purposes.

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