Solstice 2014 at Cochasqui Archaeological Site

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Solstice 2014 at Cochasqui Archaeological Site

The largest archaeological site in Ecuador, Cochasqui, is located in the highlands north of Quito. Circle on the Square organized a tour to celebrate the June 21 solstice there with a group of 30 people. Celebrating the solstice is a yearly tradition of the indigenous tribes or communities throughout Ecuador and indeed throughout South America. At this time of year people give thanks to the Sun and to the Earth for sustaining us.  People celebrate the power of the Sun which is the giver of life and the bounty of the earth as well as the feminine aspect of nature which brings forth life and nurtures it.  Group Touring Cochasqui June 2014

The site was built around 900-950 AC by the Caranqui or Cara people. While the archaeologists views are not all in agreement as to the purpose of this site, it is evident that the pyramids and the astronomical markers were and still are accurate instruments to determine the solstices and equinoxes. Present day scientists are not able to explain the ancients’ ability to construct such or to know how they determined the angles of the trenches at pyramid 13 to be the same angle as the tilt of the earth’s axis. Whatever is debated, there is no doubt that the people observed and used a special connection with the great luminaries and stars. In the image below you can see a model of the truncated pyramids (in red).  Several of them have long ramps leading to the top.  Seen from above they resemble scorpions with the wide main section representing the head and arms and the long section representing the the tail.  At the time of the June solstice, the constellation of the scorpion is visible in the night sky.

Model of Cochasqui Site

One Comment

  1. Thank you Julie for sharing your recent trip to the pyramids with all of us here…I really wish we would have known about this when we first visited back in 2008. I asked about such a place and no one gave me straight answers…referring to it as too sacred and so on. So happy to see the tribes are opening up more to outsiders and able to share their joys and culture as they are doing now.

    Thanks again for the great pictures here and on the home page!

Leave a Reply to Ruth Lee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *