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Moquegua: Did you know of the existence of the Chen Chen geoglyphs?

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Moquegua: Did you know of the existence of the Chen Chen geoglyphs?

One of the essential tourist places that you must visit in Moquegua are the geoglyphs of Chen Chen. These are located to the south west of the city, 1.5 kilometers away, at 1,474 and 1,534 meters above sea level.


The beautiful drawings, very similar to the Nazca Lines, are located on medium-height hills. They are mostly zoomorphic representations.


It is one of the most important settlements of the Tiwanaku culture on the southern Andean coast of Peru. They are, for the most part, zoomorphic representations of camelids on the ground of this chain of hills. These silhouettes can be observed preferably very early or at sunset.


Likewise, you maintain that these geoglyphs were related to economic activity in a complementary way that existed between high Andean populations, they were also oriented towards the east and west to probably indicate certain routes that should be followed.


The geoglyphs have the shape of South American camelids, made up of two well-defined groups, the most numerous and interesting being the set located in the center of this chain of hills where there are nine animals, among other symbols.


Enjoy how beautiful a sunset is in this area. You will be surprised and want to return every time you visit Moquegua.



The Chen Chen Geoglyphs are located southeast of Moquegua, at an altitude of 1,474 and 1,534 meters above sea level. An archaeological settlement that is characterized by showing its visitors incredible images carved by the Tiwanacu culture, in the same hills as Chen Chen.


Characteristics of the Chen Chen Geoglyphs

Although these geoglyphs stand out mainly for being zoomorphic representations (auquénidos), there are also phytomorphic and anthropomorphic forms. Coming to have certain similarities with the lines found in Nazca, Palpa and San Pedro de Atacama.


The population that made these geoglyphs were the Tiwanacu, a culture of high plateau origin. These employed two techniques; one of them consisted of removing the superficial layer of the ground and the other one in placing stones of a different tonality from that of the ground, like a mosaic.


It should also be noted that archeology researchers and specialists have been carrying out rescue work since 1985, discovering human bones at the site. Which give testimony of an influential population that existed in the valley of Osmore and Moquegua.


The researcher and archaeologist Lautaro Núñez concluded that these geoglyphs could be related to the complementary activities to which the high Andean populations were dedicated.


It is also pointed out that these figures, being oriented to the east and west, could have been used as route markings.


History of the Chen Chen Geoglyphs

Since 1958, different researchers and specialists have carried out studies and rescue work, human bones have been analyzed and radiocarbon dating has been done, which testifies to an important population in the Moquegua and Osmore valleys.


The binational highway to Bolivia passes through the southern side of the residential area and cemeteries and about 100 m. away, the medium-height hills are located, there are the geoglyphs of Chen Chen, which are mostly zoomorphic representations on the ground and bear similarity with areas of Nazca, Palpa, Vitor Osmore, Caplina, Azapa, Sam Pedro de Atacama.


The techniques used to engrave these figures were templated and scraped as in Cerro Sobrero in Azapa and others. The researcher Lautaro Núñez maintains that these geoglyphs are related to the complementary activity that existed between the high Andean populations. The geoglyphs are oriented to the east and west to probably indicate certain routes.


The geoglyphs are silhouettes of camelids made up of two well-defined groups, the most numerous and interesting is the set located in the center of this chain of hills where there are nine animals, among other symbols. This is the only evidence of that form of Tiwanaku cultural art that is remaining in situ for posterity and that we can preferably observe very early or at sunset.


The geoglyphs of Chen-Chen are a tourist circuit of the ancient presence, which is not observed with the naked eye, because you have to look for the appropriate angles to be able to see it, at first glance it is a simple red hill, with a pile of stones , but if we locate ourselves, we can appreciate some representative figures of camelids, which can be found in the highest part of the hill, as representative silhouettes of the well-known South American camelids.chen4


You can see that all of them are gathered very close and close as a herd (some static and others in a position of movement); It is necessary to sharpen your eyes to be able to identify them, there are large and small ones, all of them can be observed and appreciated according to the direction of the sun, it is suggested to carry out this walk, as it is a dry area, between the first hours of the morning or the last hours of the afternoon, to be observed in all its dimensionality since this becomes a very significant experience.


The interpretation of these images, indicates or shows us, that in this place; in the past there would be a large number of alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas, who live here freely and spontaneously, perhaps the presence of bofedales and springs, which can still be found very sporadically, finds significance as the largest sample of the way of life of these species, chen5that gave a special charm to the natural landscape of the past; in which groups of hunters who carried out these primitive activities were surely organized and formed to persecute and hunt them in order to obtain meat, skin and wool; whose benefit allowed them to survive Chen's man – Chen.


Tourism and observation of the geoglyphs in the form of llamas

The Chen Chen geoglyphs are a tourist complex with an ancient presence. These cannot be seen at first glance, since the right angles must be found in order to be seen. Being the best time to enjoy this archaeological attraction, the first hours of the morning or in the last hours of sunset, because the position of the sun makes it a unique experience.


These figures are grouped in 2 groups of camelids. The largest and most charming is the one located in the center of the chain of hills, where up to 9 animals and other symbols can be seen.


Usually, at first glance, you will see a red hill, with a heap of stones. However, if you begin to investigate the shape and its design, you will begin to appreciate the representative figures of llamas. These figures of South American camelids can be found in the highest area of ​​the hill.


The Chen Chen geoglyphs are grouped close to each other, some in a moving position and others static. That is why a certain visual acuity is required to know how to identify them. There are large images and other small ones, but all of them can be seen according to the direction of the sun.


How to get to the Chen Chen geoglyphs?

You must travel to the southwest of Moquegua about 1.5 km away, taking the Binational highway that leads to Bolivia. Then you must go to the south side of the residential area and the cemeteries, about 100 meters. However, unfortunately, this area is in danger due to the presence of invaders, who have already disappeared 2 geoglyphs.


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