Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fieldtrip to El Aspero

Last Saturday we went down to Vegeta to check out the remains of a pre-ceramic civilization called Vichama. On Monday this week we went with one of Grace's visiting friends to our local archaeological wonder at El Aspero. Both are very much archaeological digs in process and leave you with more questions than answers as far as what this Caral-Supe civilization was like.

El Aspero boasts more dead bodies and more pyramids than Vichama, but since El Aspero used to be the site of the local garbage dump and is partly covered by a stubborn farmer's cane and corn fields, it is a little worse for the wear. One of the pyramids has been dynamited by treasure-hunters looking for gold, and one of them was smashed nearly in half by an ignorant bulldozer many years ago.

Where Vichama is said to be an agricultural community, and Caral a priestly community; El Aspero is thought to be a fishing port.

El Aspero is significantly less tourist-friendly than Vichama and Puerto lacks the museum that Vegeta has established. A big part of that is political dischord and personal conflict that gets worked in to the professional world. Grace and Cesar have made various attempts to push for more funding or recognition for El Aspero because of their interest in community development here in Puerto, but blood feuds and political favors die hard. El Aspero has waited patiently thus far, first submerged under tons of actual garbage, and hopefully it won't have to wait much longer to emerge from this socio-political refuse as well. The discoveries that have already been made in this particular Caral-Supe settlement are truly remarkable and ought to be broadcasted.

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