Cochasquí - Imbabura 1/2
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Cochasqui pyramids are considered an important natural and archaeological heritage of the northeast of Pichincha. They are located in the Pedro Moncayo Canton, parish Tocachi.
PHOTO CREDIT: andreas zeinert

The Archaeological Park and scientific research Cochasqui has a surface of 84 hectares, 3,100 meters above sea level. This privileged location allows a 240 ° visibility from where you can see elevations, mountains and valleys as: Pambamarca Pichincha, Cerro Puntas, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Ilinisas, El Quinche, Los Chillos, San Antonio de Pichincha and others.


Cochasqui archaeological complex is formed by quadrangular tolas or truncated pyramids. There are fifteen pyramids, nine of them have ramp, and six don’t. The area also has 21 funeral mounds or circular tolas. In addition to the findings in situ, Cochasqui offers to visitors the archaeological museums, two ethnographic museums, an ethno-Botanical Garden and a didactic Museum of musical instruments, weapons and gameplay elements.


There are three theories regarding to the functionality of the pyramids of Cochasqui. According to the researches done, there are the next theories: The German archaeologist Max Uhle considered the pyramids as ceremonial-ritual places, in means they were used for ceremonies and religious rituals. 556 skulls were found in one of them. On the other hand, Udo Oberem and 'Grupo Ecuador’, with German scientists of the University of Bonn, systematized researches and excavations at several sites of Cochasqui, both in burial mounds and pyramids.


In their report they say that Cochasqui was a residential place without discarding the ceremonial-ritual use. It has also been considered as a space of possible astronomical observation from which stars and constellations as well as astronomical phenomena influencing the agricultural calendar could be viewed.


Cochasqui pyramids are predominant built with cangagua; this material is a volcanic tuff of considerable resistance which is used in these pre-Columbian constructions through geometric shapes that have one higher base and one smaller base. In that way is created a truncated pyramid, sides in the form of trapezium complete the quadrangular Prism.


Nine of The pyramids of Cochasqui have a ramp oriented South to North, or the lower side up to the top of the pyramid with its side with trapezoid-shape too.

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