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Toro Muerto
Arequipa Peru

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About 3 hours from Arequipa, near the town of Corire, is Toro Muerto touted as the world's largest field of petroglyphs. Whether it is actually the world's largest number of petroglyphs in one place is hard to say; many contend that other places have more. But the site is certainly exceptionally big, unique, and fascinating: Carved on hundreds of volcanic boulders, the glyphs lie scattered in an area at least a couple kilometers long.

Most historians believe that Toro Muerto petroglyphs were created by the Huari culture more than 1,000 years ago (and perhaps added to by subsequent peoples such as the Incas).

The enormous scale and the beautiful desert setting, more so than the individual drawings, are what most impresses about the site. The carvings in Toro Muerto comprise somewhat crude animal, human, and geometric representations.

Although some estimates claim that there are 6,000 engraved stones at Toro Muerto, many more stones are not carved, so walking among the boulders in the sand and under a hot desert sun in search of the engraved stones requires considerable effort.

The site draws very few tourists. Its distance from Arequipa and the difficulty getting there (and, no doubt, the competing popularity of Colca Canyon) preclude many groups from going to Toro Muerto.


Most Popular Archaeological Sites in Peru

Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan
Chan Chan Citadel
Kuelap Fortress
Ventanillas de Otuzco
Wari Citadel
Chavin de Huantar
Temple of Kotosh
The Pachacamac Oracle
Paracas
Huacas of Lima
Caral
Pyramids of Tucume
Choquequirao Citadel
Toro Muerto
Korikancha Temple
Sacsayhuaman Fortress
Terracing of Moray
Ollantaytambo
Tambomachay and Qenqo
MachuPicchu Citadel
Pisac
Huacas del Sol y de la Luna


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