Puntiachil - Pichincha
archaeology ecuador archaeological sites ecuador archaeology archeology archeological sites ecuador
Puntiachil is located in the Cayambe canton, in the urban area of the city of the same name in the province of Pichincha. Puntiachil is an archaeological area known since the descriptions and drawings of Antonio de Ulloa, in the 18th century.

These pre-Columbian buildings described by Ulloa, are part of the current city of Cayambe. Few are preserved of the archaeological area of Puntiachil, but are known by historical references that it was formed by truncated pyramids, tolas, ridges, and agricultural terraces. It has been considered as a housing space, ceremonial and for agricultural production too.

From descriptions and writings, especially of Ulloa, Member of the Geodesic Mission, is known that until 1736 a large cylinder of adobe existed in Puntiachil, its shadow allowed to calculate astronomical phenomena such as the equinoxes and solstices. Today is gone, due the result of looting, weather effects and the use of its walls for the production of paving stones and bricks.


At that time, 1740, Ulloa wrote that when he passes through the town of Cayambe he identified a temple or shrine made of adobes, located on a mound of Earth, not very tall, with a figure perfectly circular. Ulloa also tells that its diameter was eight tuesas, or 18-20 “varas” with short difference. This means that the circular figure had a diameter between 14 to 16 meters, also had 60 “varas” of circuit, 50 meters.


This historical narration suggested that the archaeological space of cylindrical shape and probably of cangagua, was at the top of an artificial platform, Ulloa called it "montecillo" (little mount). This building belonged to the period of integration (800 A.C to 1500 A.C). It is considered a work of the Caranquis, however there is no doubt that this is also a historical and cultural area of the Cayambis.


The data lead us to relate firstly this narration with the Caranqui people by the tolas associated with pyramids truncated with quadrangular shape, with or without ramp, which were mainly done by this culture. These latter structures, by its size and workforce, were centers of political power of the chieftains or “Señores Etnicos”, while circular mounds were in the majority of cases funerary monuments, and the rectangular were housing structures.


In this previous context, Puntiachil is one of many sites of occupation of the ancient inhabitants of the Ecuador, unfortunately destroyed by the urban expansion of the city and the economic activity of the ladrilleros, who use the land of the tolas and pyramids for more than thirty years.


This settlement, which should also be formed by two or three truncated pyramids, nowadays just has remains of one of them, located to the East of the cemetery of the city. Because it is part of a private property, the visit is restricted.


The canton of Cayambe is known for being one of the most important centers in the production of flowers around the world. Its sweet dishes are also famous: quesos de hoja (cheese), cakes and different treats that are only found in here. So if you visit this archaeological site don't forget to taste these delights.

quito hotel ecuador hotel


Q restaurante plaza foch