Architectural Reconstruction II

The Lower Level

The lower level rises some 24 meters above the plain. It appears to have been composed of two sections: one which included the northeastern quadrant of platform 1 and the other the southern section of platform 1. The northeastern quadrant was a small area, apparently composed of two areas, which were reached by a long corridor. This sector remains to be studied.

The southern sector is made up of two well-defined areas: a patio measuring some 60 by 50 meters, decorated with adobe reliefs. There, excavators have found groups of small enclosures and a complex of enclosures located in the southwestern corner of platform I.

The eastern, western, and southern walls of the patio are covered with a frieze composed of rhomboids and triangles filled with human, mask-like figures which we'll describe below.
The small enclosures in the patio are characterized by gables with high windows that lack lintels as well as windows and doors with high thresholds. The enclosures on the northwestern corner of the patio are covered with a thin layer of clay and painted white, as is the floor. The roofs were gabled and supported by the southern and northern walls; on the northern walls are the remains of a cornice that projects some 25 centimeters. The enclosures on the extreme southeastern side are decorated with reliefs on their outer walls. These form a checkerboard design made up of alternating and opposing bird heads and fish.
As for the enclosures on the southwestern corner of platform I, these are composed of two, columned rooms with pilasters separated by a small corridor located toward the west side of the patio. The room on the far southwest side contained nine pilasters; five to the south and four to the north. A gabled wall separated these two rows of pilasters, which indicates that this room had a gabled roof. To the north of the second, columned room is a corridor with a doorway that communicated these two structures with a sort of balcony that overlooked the Huaca del Sol and the plain below.
Obviously, this description and reconstruction is hampered by many gaps. Much of the evidence was lost due to the gaping looters' pit dating to Colonial times, which destroyed almost a third of the platform. According to Jorge Zevallos Quiñones, who studied documents from Colonial archives, looting was carried out during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with the permission of the Spanish crown.

234 x 60 v2 7.18.00

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