2010 World Monuments Watch
The archaeological park of Pikillaqta rests on a plateau surrounded by hills, valleys, wetlands, and lakes, and embodies the harmonious coexistence of the ancient Wari culture with the region’s unique natural resources and landscape. The pre-Inca urban center of Pikillaqta was a provincial city from 650 to 900 A.D. that functioned as a residential, administrative, religious, and military center for the expansive Wari Empire. Only 20 miles away from Cusco, the park spans 8,453 acres (34 square kilometers) and includes various houses, ceremonial buildings, cemeteries, and storage facilities alongside a diverse landscape of flora and fauna and rich soil, stone, clay, and gypsum quarries. The rarity of the bucolic landscape and archaeological remains is not well known among the local population, nor with the international community. The local herdsmen and farmers are causing damage to the archaeological remains by using the park for their grazing and as farmland. Brush fires and agricultural burning are destroying the vegetation, and the clay and gypsum are being stripped away from the site for reuse. The local authorities seek to engage the community in conservation and tourism development efforts to raise awareness, improve economic conditions, and promote stewardship of the cultural and natural resources of Pikillaqta.