Hello everyone! I would like to welcome you to the beginning of a blog that will get you as close to experiencing Peru as possible while still being able to flush your toilet paper down the drain. I am beyond excited to share my experience with all of you out there on the internet who find this in the midst of the multitude of blogs congesting the information highway. More importantly I want to show you what Peru looks like through my eyes and through the eyes of those that I meet along the way.
In a suiting fashion, I will begin my first blog with the introduction of a project that I plan to extend to the entire length of my trip. Using my Iphone (basically the best phone) I have the capability of taking amazing 360 degree panoramic photos using an app developed by Microsoft called Photosynth. I want to travel to as many archaeological sites as possible during my stay in South America to give everyone out there a taste of Peruvian archaeology through the technology allowed to me through my mobile phone.I wanteded to give everyone back at home a chance to come right along my trip with me and in essence “see through my eyes” (did you catch the extended metaphor?).
This will be a great way to visualize the immensity of cultures preceding the Incan Empire and Machu Picchu (which is almost always the only site people know of from Peru), and the amazing accomplishments of Peru’s many advanced civilizations through a passionate pursuit of my own: archaeology.
With the remains of a former empire, an ancient cemetery, or agricultural terracing in every direction you look in Peru, I will have no trouble staying busy. The abundant evidence of ancient human civilization, the result of 5,000 plus years of habitation, pepper the landscape of Peru in such quantity that the large majority have yet to be properly investigated. There is so much that we have yet to learn of the cultures that eventually were revealed to the Old World in the form of the Incan Empire. The political, organizational, and technological feats of the Incan empire that so amazed the Spanish Conquistadors were in large part a manifestation of accomplishments from preceding cultures stretching thousands of years back in Andean pre-history.
I just concocted the idea this week, but luckily I have a couple of sites to show you from panoramics that I took before I thought to put them on my blog. I have spent the last 3 weeks at a Spanish school in Cuzco, the former capital of the Incan empire (not the school of course), so inevitably we will start with some Incan sites. In retrospect, It will actually be a great way to start with the most recent and familiar (and surprisingly some not so familiar) aspects of pre-Columbian culture. From here we can work our way backwards through time to reveal the many predecessors which the Incan empire drew on to achieve the incredible visual feats that you can see from a 360 degree panoramic view right on your computer screen. I have to say, you guys are pretty lucky to have me and my nifty phone because of the immensity of many archaeological sites in Peru and the amazing landscape, it is almost necessary to have a panoramic shot to fully capture the entire thing in one shot!
Check out panoramics of a couple of sites I got to see around Cusco on my Photosynth profile, perufrommyeyes. The Photosynth site (not archaeological) is an awesome place for checking out any number of landscapes, places, and more archaeology of course, always in panoramic views, albiet a little glitchy. I have had some issues so far, but I plan to have some descriptions to give you an idea of what you’re looking at, and highlight certain features in the site of particular significance. I will also have them geo-referenced, so you can see exactly where I am when I take the picture! Just really cool stuff basically.
This will be the official start of my photos, and after I finish my Spanish school this week I will be heading to the birth place of the Sun: Lake Titicaca. Get ready for your mind to be blown, as I have already begun preparing myself (and I’m still not sure if I’m ready for the sheer awesomeness). Let me know if you have any suggestions to see a particular culture or archaeological site (within consideration of distance and my current location). Also feel free to comment on a photo or ask questions; I would love to get a good discussion going.
Alright then guys, get ready to come along for a wild (and of course intellectually stimulating) ride in Peru and expect much more in the coming weeks!