Peruvian ‘Tambogrande’ docu makes its screen debut in Europe

The documentary “Tambogrande” which addresses the peaceful fight against the operation of gold mines in Peru, will be shown today in Prague, Czech Republic, at the ninth annual “One World” documentary film festival.Canadian Stephanie Boyd and Peruvian Ernesto Cabellos have worked eight years on this film that cost US$ 90,000 and goes deep into the denunciation of developing mining activities without due health guarantees and justice. The two filmmakers have already produced a documentary on the same topic, “Choropampa, el precio de oro” (Choropampa. The price of gold) which was released in 2002.

The producing company is “Guarango Film and Video”, founded 13 years ago by Ernesto Cabellos and Swiss producer Stefan Kaspar to promote the independent production and distribution of Peruvian film and video. Guarango is a registered non-profit organization in Peru as well as a member of the Peruvian Filmmaker’s Association.

“Choropampa had a great impact, after more than a thousand people were poisoned with mercury in Yanachocha after an accident. The people in charge of the mining Newmont company did not compensate anyone”, Boyd told EFE news agency in the Czech capital.

It led to an investigation by the American embassy and in the year 2000 a collective denunciation was filed in a U.S. federal court . A ruling is still pending.

“Compared to the tragedy of Choropampa, Tambogrande seems more like a comedy. It is an important positive story for the community”, Boyd said. She moved from Kenya to Peru almost ten years ago.

An international advocacy campaign has been launched to support the Peruvian town of Tambogrande in their struggle to stop a Canadian company from setting up an open-pit gold mine in the town. Tambogrande is one of Peru’s most productive agricultural regions, and it is feared that the proposed mine would bring severe contamination to the soil and the water supplies, endangering the health and livelihood of the local people. The $1 billion project would also require the relocation of over half of the town’s residents.

Boyd mentioned six other mining projects in Peru that do not have the support of the local population, reason why she considers helpful “to tell the history of a town and its non-violent resistance”.

The “Tambogrande – Mangos, Murder, Mining” documentary has won 5 international awards and been broadcast on the Sundance Channel USA), CBC Country (Canada), KBDI Colorado, USA) and national television in Peru, Argentina and Venezuela.

After the European opening, the documentary will screen in South Korea.

Total Lunar Eclipse over Peru on Saturday, March 3nd

Create some free time this weekend for sky watching. On Saturday night, March 3rd at 6:21 p.m. , a total lunar eclipse will take place and will be visible over the Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.

A lunar eclipse occurs whenever some portion of the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon. Two conditions are required for this to happen. First, the Moon must be full; that is, from the perspective of the Sun, the Moon must be directly behind the Earth. A beautiful red sunset is expected for tomorrow.

Totality can be seen from parts of all seven continents including Peru and all of Europe, Africa and the eastern half of North America.

Europe and Africa are favored. People there will see Earth’s red shadow swallow the Moon for more than an hour around 23:21 GMT (18:21 p.m. in Lima).

see animation at http://www.shadowandsubstance.com/

Here in Lima and Peru, at the end of the day on Saturday, go outside and face east. As the sun sets behind your back, a red Moon will rise before your eyes — it will be a fantastic site if the sky is clear. You will see it by naked eye (there is not harm to your eyes), using binoculars or telescopes is even better.

The Moon does not completely disappear as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by the Earth’s atmosphere into the shadow cone. The amount of refracted light depends on the amount of clouds or dust in the atmosphere, and this light causes the Moon to glow with a coppery-red hue that varies from one eclipse to the next.

Every year there are at least two lunar eclipses. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed at a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.

(thanks to Anibal Paredes for providing this info)

Wolfy Becker

World Naked Bike Ride 2007 comes to Peru

On Saturday, March 10, 2007, in cities around the world  – including Lima, Peru -, people will be riding bikes naked to celebrate cycling and the human body.

World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is being organized and supported by many different groups. The groups are only connected by their determination to all be naked on their bikes on WNBR Day, riding in celebration, jubilation to deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world to the masses. There are many great reasons to be celebrating, with all the glory of naked two-wheel sanity. It’s time to join hundreds of naked compatriots in a free, non-sexual, fun bike ride!

All are welcome! From the shy to the bold. Cyclists, rollerbladers, rollerskaters, skate boarders. All ages, sizes, and colors welcome. Bring your family and your co-workers!

What to wear? Do not fear! The World Naked Bike Ride dress code is “As Bare As You Dare”… How bare is that? How dare is that? It’s all up to you. You decide what you are comfortable with. No one is excluded or discriminated against based on levels of clothing, bodypaint, or anything else for that matter!

Engage the public! Bodies are painted and bikes decorated with political messages or beautiful designs to complement forms and shapes. Please be creative and colorful in expressing yourself! Bodypainting, bike decorating, and other creative expression is strongly encouraged! See Body art and Art bike for more info.

We pass out flyers informing the public about our message. We use portable public address systems or raise our voices and chant in unison. Getting people to laugh and smile is a great way to connect and share ideas in a non-threatening way.

The ride also wants to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and is a protest against oil dependency. Safety for cyclists is almost non-existent in Lima. In February 2007 three cyclists were killed by cars and trucks and their irresponsible drivers.

Visit the Lima Naked Bike Ride site at http://www.ciclonudistaperu.org/ for further details.

You can also visit the global World Naked Bike Ride site at http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/.

Lima Naked Bike Ride 2007

Date: March 10th
Main meeting place: Parque Kennedy in Miraflores
Time: 09:00 am

– Come join us to defend our lives against killer cars
– Come naked
– Come dressed with a custom
– Come body painted
– Come in a bikini
– Come as creative as you can
– Bring flags, printed text for display, etc.

Article by Wolfy Becker

Peruvian citadel is site of earliest ancient solar observatory in the Americas

(official public release by Yale University)

New Haven, Conn. — Archeologists from Yale and the University of Leicester have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year, according to an article in the March 2 issue of Science.

Recorded accounts from the 16th century A.D. detail practices of state-regulated sun worship during Inca times, and related social and cosmological beliefs. These speak of towers being used to mark the rising or setting position of the sun at certain times in the year, but no trace of the towers has ever been found. This paper reports the earliest structures that support those writings.

At Chankillo, not only were there towers marking the sun’s position throughout the year, but they remain in place, and the site was constructed much earlier – in approximately the 4th century B.C.

“Archaeological research in Peru is constantly pushing back the origins of civilization in the Americas,” said Ivan Ghezzi, a graduate student in the department of Anthropology at Yale University and lead author of the paper. “In this case, the 2,300 year old solar observatory at Chankillo is the earliest such structure identified and unlike all other sites contains alignments that cover the entire solar year. It predates the European conquests by 1,800 years and even precedes, by about 500 years, the monuments of similar purpose constructed by the Mayans in Central America.”

Chankillo is a large ceremonial center covering several square kilometers in the costal Peruvian desert. It was better known in the past for a heavily fortified hilltop structure with massive walls, restricted gates, and parapets. For many years, there has been a controversy as to whether this part of Chankillo was a fort or a ceremonial center. But the purpose of a 300meter long line of Thirteen Towers lying along a small hill nearby had remained a mystery..

The new evidence now identifies it as a solar observatory. When viewed from two specially constructed observing points, the thirteen towers are strikingly visible on the horizon, resembling large prehistoric teeth. Around the observing points are spaces where artifacts indicate that ritual gatherings were held.

The current report offers strong evidence for an additional use of the site at Chankillo — as a solar observatory. It is remarkable as the earliest known complete solar observatory in the Americas that defines all the major aspects of the solar year.

“Focusing on the Andes and the Incan empire, we have known for decades from archeological artifacts and documents that they practiced what is called solar horizon astronomy, which uses the rising and setting positions of the sun in the horizon to determine the time of the year,” said Ghezzi. “We knew that Inca practices of astronomy were very sophisticated and that they used buildings as a form of “landscape timekeeping” to mark the positions of the sun on key dates of the year, but we did not know that these practices were so old.”

According to archival texts, “sun pillars” standing on the horizon near Cusco were used to mark planting times and regulate seasonal observances, but have vanished and their precise location remains unknown. In this report, the model of Inca astronomy, based almost exclusively in the texts, is fleshed out with a wealth of archaeological and archaeo-astronomical evidence.

Ghezzi was originally working at the site as a Yale graduate student conducting thesis work on ancient warfare in the region, with a focus on the fortress at the site.

Noting the configuration of 13 monuments, in 2001, Ghezzi wondered about a proposed relationship to astronomy. “Since the 19th century there was speculation that the 13-tower array could be solar or lunar demarcation — but no one followed up on it,” Ghezzi said. “We were there. We had extraordinary support from the Peruvian Government, Earthwatch and Yale University. So we said, ‘Let’s study it while we are here!’”

To his great surprise, within hours they had measurements indicating that one tower aligned with the June solstice and another with the December solstice. But, it took several years of fieldwork to date the structures and demonstrate the intentionality of the alignments. In 2005, Ghezzi connected with co-author Clive Ruggles, a leading British authority on archeoastronomy. Ruggles was immediately impressed with the monument structures.

“I am used to being disappointed when visiting places people claim to be ancient astronomical observatories.” said Ruggles. “Since everything must point somewhere and there are a great many promising astronomical targets, the evidence — when you look at it objectively — turns out all too often to be completely unconvincing.”

“Chankillo, on the other hand, provided a complete set of horizon markers — the Thirteen Towers — and two unique and indisputable observation points,” Ruggles said. “The fact that, as seen from these two points, the towers just span the solar rising and setting arcs provides the clearest possible indication that they were built specifically to facilitate sunrise and sunset observations throughout the seasonal year.”

What they found at Chankillo was much more than the archival records had indicated. “Chankillo reflects well-developed astronomical principles, which suggests the original forms of astronomy must be quite older,” said Ghezzi, who is also the is Director of Archaeology of the National Institute of Culture in Lima, Peru.

The researchers also knew that Inca astronomical practices in much later times were intimately linked to the political operations of the Inca king, who considered himself an offspring of the sun. Finding this observatory revealed a much older precursor where calendrical observances may well have helped to support the social and political hierarchy. They suggest that this is the earliest unequivocal evidence, not only in the Andes but in all the Americas, of a monument built to track the movement of the sun throughout the year as part of a cultural landscape.

According to the authors, these monuments were statements about how the society was organized; about who had power, and who did not. The people who controlled these monuments “controlled” the movement of the sun. The authors pose that this knowledge could have been translated into the very powerful political and ideological statement, “See, I control the sun!”

“This study brings a new significance to an old site,” said Richard Burger, Chairman of Archeological Studies at Yale and Ghezzi’s graduate mentor. “It is a wonderful discovery and an important milestone in Andean observations of this site that people have been arguing over for a hundred years.”

“Chankillo is one of the most exciting archaeoastronomical sites I have come across,” said Ruggles. “It seems extraordinary that an ancient astronomical device as clear as this could have remained undiscovered for so long.”

###

Ghezzi is also a Lecturer in Archaeology at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru. Support for the project came from Yale University, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Field Museum, the Schwerin Foundation, Earthwatch Institute and the Asociación Cultural Peruano Británica in Lima, Peru.

Citation: Science (March 2, 2007)

Slideshow (images with captions):
http://www.yale.edu/opa/media/slideshow/Peru_observatory-gallery/

Photos (download hi-res):
http://www.yale.edu/opa/download/photos/Peru_observatory-photos/

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              203-432-2157      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Yale University

—————————————————-

DISCLAIMER: The content of each press release is the responsibility of the publishing organization and is not vetted or approved by JournalPeru.com prior to publication. JournalPeru.com is not liable directly or indirectly for any direct or consequential loss, damage or expense resulting from the material disseminated and published on the site. Readers are advised to check the accuracy of all press releases and to obtain their own professional advice in relation to such information.

Today’s Peruvian mottos: ‘Back to School’ and ‘Bidding adios to ‘manana’

Today more than 6.8 million Peruvian kids and over 300,000 teachers kick off the new school year in 66,000 public schools across the country. However, the first day back at school will already be interrupted because at noon on the dot today, punctuality will make its debut in Peru. Lateness will be a thing of the past, or so the government hopes.Sirens will blare and church bells will ring to remind 28 million Peruvians to synchronize their clocks with time set by the Peruvian Navy.

Students and teachers alike will participate in the national campaign initiated by the government under the motto “Respect and Commitment from all” and “la hora sin demora” (”time without delay”). Fed up with the nation’s reputation for poor time-keeping, the government is promoting the benefits of being on time. Businesses, government institutions and schools will be urged to stop tolerating “hora peruana” – which usually means about an hour or two late.

According to an official press note by Peru’s Education Ministry, the nationwide educative infrastructure is in place for about 90% of the schools so that classes can begin with normality. However, some construction contractors have apparently not fulfilled their responsibilites of finishing renovations and maintenance works in time. “hora peruana” strikes again.

The administration of Peru’s President Alan Garcia invested about 200 million Nuevo Soles (US$ 62.5 million) in improving the public schools infrastructure and overall conditions. Since October 2006, 300 new classrooms were built, walls were painted, floors and pathways repaired, electrical and sanitary systems improved.

Class schedules were extended by one hour and the Ministry of Education has distributed 10 million new school books and other learning tools, hoping that this will cover the demand of books and other educative material for the present school year. According to the note, parents will not be forced to buy school books by themselves.With all these changes the Peruvian government tries to win the “war” against low-quality education reflected by various international studies, statistics and evaluations.

The number of scholars rises to 8.6 million this year – 6.9 million in public schools and 1.7 million in private schools. Peruvian schools (66.409 public / 20.681 private) count on 447,453 teachers (301,849 public / 145,604 private).

Hopeully, classes will start and end on time now.

Article by Wolfy Becker

Peruvian ‘Tambogrande’ docu makes its screen debut in Europe

The documentary “Tambogrande” which addresses the peaceful fight against the operation of gold mines in Peru, will be shown today in Prague, Czech Republic, at the ninth annual “One World” documentary film festival.Canadian Stephanie Boyd and Peruvian Ernesto Cabellos have worked eight years on this film that cost US$ 90,000 and goes deep into the denunciation of developing mining activities without due health guarantees and justice. The two filmmakers have already produced a documentary on the same topic, “Choropampa, el precio de oro” (Choropampa. The price of gold) which was released in 2002.

The producing company is “Guarango Film and Video”, founded 13 years ago by Ernesto Cabellos and Swiss producer Stefan Kaspar to promote the independent production and distribution of Peruvian film and video. Guarango is a registered non-profit organization in Peru as well as a member of the Peruvian Filmmaker’s Association.

“Choropampa had a great impact, after more than a thousand people were poisoned with mercury in Yanachocha after an accident. The people in charge of the mining Newmont company did not compensate anyone”, Boyd told EFE news agency in the Czech capital.

It led to an investigation by the American embassy and in the year 2000 a collective denunciation was filed in a U.S. federal court . A ruling is still pending.

“Compared to the tragedy of Choropampa, Tambogrande seems more like a comedy. It is an important positive story for the community”, Boyd said. She moved from Kenya to Peru almost ten years ago.

An international advocacy campaign has been launched to support the Peruvian town of Tambogrande in their struggle to stop a Canadian company from setting up an open-pit gold mine in the town. Tambogrande is one of Peru’s most productive agricultural regions, and it is feared that the proposed mine would bring severe contamination to the soil and the water supplies, endangering the health and livelihood of the local people. The $1 billion project would also require the relocation of over half of the town’s residents.

Boyd mentioned six other mining projects in Peru that do not have the support of the local population, reason why she considers helpful “to tell the history of a town and its non-violent resistance”.

The “Tambogrande – Mangos, Murder, Mining” documentary has won 5 international awards and been broadcast on the Sundance Channel USA), CBC Country (Canada), KBDI Colorado, USA) and national television in Peru, Argentina and Venezuela.

After the European opening, the documentary will screen in South Korea.

Total Lunar Eclipse over Peru on Saturday, March 3nd

Create some free time this weekend for sky watching. On Saturday night, March 3rd at 6:21 p.m. , a total lunar eclipse will take place and will be visible over the Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.

A lunar eclipse occurs whenever some portion of the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon. Two conditions are required for this to happen. First, the Moon must be full; that is, from the perspective of the Sun, the Moon must be directly behind the Earth. A beautiful red sunset is expected for tomorrow.

Totality can be seen from parts of all seven continents including Peru and all of Europe, Africa and the eastern half of North America.

Europe and Africa are favored. People there will see Earth’s red shadow swallow the Moon for more than an hour around 23:21 GMT (18:21 p.m. in Lima).

see animation at http://www.shadowandsubstance.com/

Here in Lima and Peru, at the end of the day on Saturday, go outside and face east. As the sun sets behind your back, a red Moon will rise before your eyes — it will be a fantastic site if the sky is clear. You will see it by naked eye (there is not harm to your eyes), using binoculars or telescopes is even better.

The Moon does not completely disappear as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by the Earth’s atmosphere into the shadow cone. The amount of refracted light depends on the amount of clouds or dust in the atmosphere, and this light causes the Moon to glow with a coppery-red hue that varies from one eclipse to the next.

Every year there are at least two lunar eclipses. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed at a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth.

(thanks to Anibal Paredes for providing this info)

Wolfy Becker

World Naked Bike Ride 2007 comes to Peru

On Saturday, March 10, 2007, in cities around the world  – including Lima, Peru -, people will be riding bikes naked to celebrate cycling and the human body.

World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) is being organized and supported by many different groups. The groups are only connected by their determination to all be naked on their bikes on WNBR Day, riding in celebration, jubilation to deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world to the masses. There are many great reasons to be celebrating, with all the glory of naked two-wheel sanity. It’s time to join hundreds of naked compatriots in a free, non-sexual, fun bike ride!

All are welcome! From the shy to the bold. Cyclists, rollerbladers, rollerskaters, skate boarders. All ages, sizes, and colors welcome. Bring your family and your co-workers!

What to wear? Do not fear! The World Naked Bike Ride dress code is “As Bare As You Dare”… How bare is that? How dare is that? It’s all up to you. You decide what you are comfortable with. No one is excluded or discriminated against based on levels of clothing, bodypaint, or anything else for that matter!

Engage the public! Bodies are painted and bikes decorated with political messages or beautiful designs to complement forms and shapes. Please be creative and colorful in expressing yourself! Bodypainting, bike decorating, and other creative expression is strongly encouraged! See Body art and Art bike for more info.

We pass out flyers informing the public about our message. We use portable public address systems or raise our voices and chant in unison. Getting people to laugh and smile is a great way to connect and share ideas in a non-threatening way.

The ride also wants to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and is a protest against oil dependency. Safety for cyclists is almost non-existent in Lima. In February 2007 three cyclists were killed by cars and trucks and their irresponsible drivers.

Visit the Lima Naked Bike Ride site at http://www.ciclonudistaperu.org/ for further details.

You can also visit the global World Naked Bike Ride site at http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/.

Lima Naked Bike Ride 2007

Date: March 10th
Main meeting place: Parque Kennedy in Miraflores
Time: 09:00 am

– Come join us to defend our lives against killer cars
– Come naked
– Come dressed with a custom
– Come body painted
– Come in a bikini
– Come as creative as you can
– Bring flags, printed text for display, etc.

Article by Wolfy Becker

Peruvian citadel is site of earliest ancient solar observatory in the Americas

(official public release by Yale University)

New Haven, Conn. — Archeologists from Yale and the University of Leicester have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year, according to an article in the March 2 issue of Science.

Recorded accounts from the 16th century A.D. detail practices of state-regulated sun worship during Inca times, and related social and cosmological beliefs. These speak of towers being used to mark the rising or setting position of the sun at certain times in the year, but no trace of the towers has ever been found. This paper reports the earliest structures that support those writings.

At Chankillo, not only were there towers marking the sun’s position throughout the year, but they remain in place, and the site was constructed much earlier – in approximately the 4th century B.C.

“Archaeological research in Peru is constantly pushing back the origins of civilization in the Americas,” said Ivan Ghezzi, a graduate student in the department of Anthropology at Yale University and lead author of the paper. “In this case, the 2,300 year old solar observatory at Chankillo is the earliest such structure identified and unlike all other sites contains alignments that cover the entire solar year. It predates the European conquests by 1,800 years and even precedes, by about 500 years, the monuments of similar purpose constructed by the Mayans in Central America.”

Chankillo is a large ceremonial center covering several square kilometers in the costal Peruvian desert. It was better known in the past for a heavily fortified hilltop structure with massive walls, restricted gates, and parapets. For many years, there has been a controversy as to whether this part of Chankillo was a fort or a ceremonial center. But the purpose of a 300meter long line of Thirteen Towers lying along a small hill nearby had remained a mystery..

The new evidence now identifies it as a solar observatory. When viewed from two specially constructed observing points, the thirteen towers are strikingly visible on the horizon, resembling large prehistoric teeth. Around the observing points are spaces where artifacts indicate that ritual gatherings were held.

The current report offers strong evidence for an additional use of the site at Chankillo — as a solar observatory. It is remarkable as the earliest known complete solar observatory in the Americas that defines all the major aspects of the solar year.

“Focusing on the Andes and the Incan empire, we have known for decades from archeological artifacts and documents that they practiced what is called solar horizon astronomy, which uses the rising and setting positions of the sun in the horizon to determine the time of the year,” said Ghezzi. “We knew that Inca practices of astronomy were very sophisticated and that they used buildings as a form of “landscape timekeeping” to mark the positions of the sun on key dates of the year, but we did not know that these practices were so old.”

According to archival texts, “sun pillars” standing on the horizon near Cusco were used to mark planting times and regulate seasonal observances, but have vanished and their precise location remains unknown. In this report, the model of Inca astronomy, based almost exclusively in the texts, is fleshed out with a wealth of archaeological and archaeo-astronomical evidence.

Ghezzi was originally working at the site as a Yale graduate student conducting thesis work on ancient warfare in the region, with a focus on the fortress at the site.

Noting the configuration of 13 monuments, in 2001, Ghezzi wondered about a proposed relationship to astronomy. “Since the 19th century there was speculation that the 13-tower array could be solar or lunar demarcation — but no one followed up on it,” Ghezzi said. “We were there. We had extraordinary support from the Peruvian Government, Earthwatch and Yale University. So we said, ‘Let’s study it while we are here!’”

To his great surprise, within hours they had measurements indicating that one tower aligned with the June solstice and another with the December solstice. But, it took several years of fieldwork to date the structures and demonstrate the intentionality of the alignments. In 2005, Ghezzi connected with co-author Clive Ruggles, a leading British authority on archeoastronomy. Ruggles was immediately impressed with the monument structures.

“I am used to being disappointed when visiting places people claim to be ancient astronomical observatories.” said Ruggles. “Since everything must point somewhere and there are a great many promising astronomical targets, the evidence — when you look at it objectively — turns out all too often to be completely unconvincing.”

“Chankillo, on the other hand, provided a complete set of horizon markers — the Thirteen Towers — and two unique and indisputable observation points,” Ruggles said. “The fact that, as seen from these two points, the towers just span the solar rising and setting arcs provides the clearest possible indication that they were built specifically to facilitate sunrise and sunset observations throughout the seasonal year.”

What they found at Chankillo was much more than the archival records had indicated. “Chankillo reflects well-developed astronomical principles, which suggests the original forms of astronomy must be quite older,” said Ghezzi, who is also the is Director of Archaeology of the National Institute of Culture in Lima, Peru.

The researchers also knew that Inca astronomical practices in much later times were intimately linked to the political operations of the Inca king, who considered himself an offspring of the sun. Finding this observatory revealed a much older precursor where calendrical observances may well have helped to support the social and political hierarchy. They suggest that this is the earliest unequivocal evidence, not only in the Andes but in all the Americas, of a monument built to track the movement of the sun throughout the year as part of a cultural landscape.

According to the authors, these monuments were statements about how the society was organized; about who had power, and who did not. The people who controlled these monuments “controlled” the movement of the sun. The authors pose that this knowledge could have been translated into the very powerful political and ideological statement, “See, I control the sun!”

“This study brings a new significance to an old site,” said Richard Burger, Chairman of Archeological Studies at Yale and Ghezzi’s graduate mentor. “It is a wonderful discovery and an important milestone in Andean observations of this site that people have been arguing over for a hundred years.”

“Chankillo is one of the most exciting archaeoastronomical sites I have come across,” said Ruggles. “It seems extraordinary that an ancient astronomical device as clear as this could have remained undiscovered for so long.”

###

Ghezzi is also a Lecturer in Archaeology at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima, Peru. Support for the project came from Yale University, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Field Museum, the Schwerin Foundation, Earthwatch Institute and the Asociación Cultural Peruano Británica in Lima, Peru.

Citation: Science (March 2, 2007)

Slideshow (images with captions):
http://www.yale.edu/opa/media/slideshow/Peru_observatory-gallery/

Photos (download hi-res):
http://www.yale.edu/opa/download/photos/Peru_observatory-photos/

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              203-432-2157      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Yale University

—————————————————-

DISCLAIMER: The content of each press release is the responsibility of the publishing organization and is not vetted or approved by JournalPeru.com prior to publication. JournalPeru.com is not liable directly or indirectly for any direct or consequential loss, damage or expense resulting from the material disseminated and published on the site. Readers are advised to check the accuracy of all press releases and to obtain their own professional advice in relation to such information.

Today’s Peruvian mottos: ‘Back to School’ and ‘Bidding adios to ‘manana’

Today more than 6.8 million Peruvian kids and over 300,000 teachers kick off the new school year in 66,000 public schools across the country. However, the first day back at school will already be interrupted because at noon on the dot today, punctuality will make its debut in Peru. Lateness will be a thing of the past, or so the government hopes.Sirens will blare and church bells will ring to remind 28 million Peruvians to synchronize their clocks with time set by the Peruvian Navy.

Students and teachers alike will participate in the national campaign initiated by the government under the motto “Respect and Commitment from all” and “la hora sin demora” (”time without delay”). Fed up with the nation’s reputation for poor time-keeping, the government is promoting the benefits of being on time. Businesses, government institutions and schools will be urged to stop tolerating “hora peruana” – which usually means about an hour or two late.

According to an official press note by Peru’s Education Ministry, the nationwide educative infrastructure is in place for about 90% of the schools so that classes can begin with normality. However, some construction contractors have apparently not fulfilled their responsibilites of finishing renovations and maintenance works in time. “hora peruana” strikes again.

The administration of Peru’s President Alan Garcia invested about 200 million Nuevo Soles (US$ 62.5 million) in improving the public schools infrastructure and overall conditions. Since October 2006, 300 new classrooms were built, walls were painted, floors and pathways repaired, electrical and sanitary systems improved.

Class schedules were extended by one hour and the Ministry of Education has distributed 10 million new school books and other learning tools, hoping that this will cover the demand of books and other educative material for the present school year. According to the note, parents will not be forced to buy school books by themselves.With all these changes the Peruvian government tries to win the “war” against low-quality education reflected by various international studies, statistics and evaluations.

The number of scholars rises to 8.6 million this year – 6.9 million in public schools and 1.7 million in private schools. Peruvian schools (66.409 public / 20.681 private) count on 447,453 teachers (301,849 public / 145,604 private).

Hopeully, classes will start and end on time now.

Article by Wolfy Becker

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