Saturday, September 12, 2009

Not to Bore You; a Little More on Pyramids

A friend of mine recently wrote to ask why I was so darned keen on going to do some preliminary study of the pyramid shapes in the jungle in Peru, particularly given the general consensus that they are geologically formed rather than man made. This was the gist of my answer.

The pyramid shaped formations may well be a geological anomaly. BUTTTTT.....who ever heard of rivers, or wind, cutting what look to be perfect pyramidal shapes down to the earth level? And why two parallel rows of six each, all of them roughly the size of the great pyramid of Egypt? Why no other pyramidal shaped formations in the area? So yes, maybe geologic but did man pitch in and help shape them?
Also, if they are wind/water formed in limestone or sandstone, then there will be caves and tunnels and such running through them as well--the wind and rivers could not have carved perfectly straight exterior walls on all four sides of the pyramid shapes. And if there are caves, then animals would have used those caves, and man would have used those caves and there will be traces of both in those caves--once the plant life is removed from their surfaces.
So they might still be very very important even if natural structures. They might open a window on ancient peoples of the region. Petroglyphs are nearby that I don't believe have been dated yet. So I'd imagine that if there were caves with human traces there might be undiscovered petroglyphs inside them as well. And we know there are pot shards in the area. Question is: Are they from a recently broken pot or one that was 300 years old? We won't know those things until they are studied. The first trip would just be a 10 day cursory on site to get some basic info; hopefully that would lead to a real investigation if the preliminary proved fruitful at all.
For staff, first, there's my friend Richard, a great naturalist who has been to the pyramids. Then, I'd bring a wonderful curandero from the mountains, a botanist, so that we didn't cut the plant life that might turn out to be the most important thing at the site; a geologist to collect earth and stone samples, and an archaeologist or anthropologist to assess what we might find in and around the site. Then there would be a couple of members of my team because they speak the Panoan dialect and could probably get by even in a different area of the jungle than they live in, and finally several locals who could help run camp and clear enough of the jungle at the formations' bases to be able to take accurate measurements, to look for caves and such.
Which is what makes it somewhat expensive. That's a lot of people and food to move. But me going there and touching them wouldn't mean anything. That's been done. What hasn't been done is any study of them or the area. So they've been reached but never breached. And I'd like to be on the crew to do the breaching.


Dr. Grossman said...

I think you also need a really good photographer to document it all. (hint hint). Sounds like an amazing trip.

Peter Gorman said...

Absolutely. With what we would bring back from a preliminary for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, the Museum of Natural History in New York, Boston University's geological department, the University of Peru in Lima and Queens College of the City of New York--where the investigative work would be done--we would wind up with enough money and time to do a real exploration of a month or two with a semi-permanent camp. And a photographer could only help. Thank you for the suggestion, Dr. Grossman.

Dr. Grossman said...

(I was volunteering!)

Unknown said...

I imagine you know the legend of Paititi ?

Gritter said...

How about a western "medicine man"/adventurer? Need one of those?

Serhio said...

Peter, if you need an handyman put me down to your list. :)