The history of Huallamarca goes back almost to the beginnings of the Christian era, being first occupied by ancient settlers from Huallas del Valle in Lima. Beautifully preserved, this magnificent archeological monument is distinguished by the contrast created by the modern buildings that surround it and is a testimony of certain perceptions of life from the pre-Columbian era. The investigations the site has undergone have allowed us to recognize up to three different moments of importance in its occupation, before Lima’s time (2nd century B.C. to 7th century A.D.), Ishma (9th century A.D.) to the Incan times (15th and 16th centuries A.D.), each distinguished by their particular function (temple, cemetery and village) and by the development of complex societies.
Conceived at first as a temple for the congregation of a section of the population with ceremonial and administrative purposes in the pre-Lima times, Huallamarca was created in the shape of a tiered pyramid, and built during the regional development of the valley under the Rimac.
The building was raised with adobe bricks painstakingly made by hand in the shape of maize kernels, with which superposed platforms were formed to reach different levels and design enclosed plazas, patios, passageways, and restricted areas, painted in ocher yellow. The side ramps served to create access in between levels and the final volume of the pyramid was achieved through successive stages of construction and remodeling. By the dimensions and characteristics of Huallamarca, one might think it was a temple of different rank and hierarchy than other great religious centers in the times of Lima, as are Pucllana and Maranga in the Rimac Vallery and Pachacamac, the most importat sanctuary in the pre-Hispanic coast.
As time went by, new urban centers appeared in the valley, belonging to the Lima culture and Huallamarca was abandoned as a temple, initially, but the settlers in the area gave it new use as a cemetery. Finally, it served as a human settlement for the Incas, who created terraces to build a village composed of living spaces, patios and areas for storage and cooking.
The archeological excavations carried out at Huallamarca in 1958 have allowed us to discover a series of objects currently in display at the on-site Museum and have helped to reconstruct the history of the place.
The On-site Museum of Huallamarca is a part of the National State Museum System and its purpose is to spread the cultural values of the site to the national and international community, and will allow visitors to appreciate the cultural information we have been obtaining from scientific investigations carried out about the life of our ancestors.
The museum was founded August 11th 1960 and had as first director its own manager, Dr. Arturo Jiménez Borja. The construcción of the museum was carried out under the sponsorship of the Municipality of San Isidro, an entity with vast cultural sensibility that, since then and to this day, collaborates with the National Cultural Institute, nowadays known as the Ministry of Culture, for the development of the museum and the monument.
The On-site Museum of Huallamarca is located in 201 Nicolás de Ribera Street, on the corner with El Rosario Avenue. Phone number, 222-4124. Opening hours are from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Parking lot for cars and buses: there is a large parking space with enough capacity for 14 cars or 3 large buses. The Museum has its own staff as well as the collaboration of the Municipal Watchmen to ensure the safety of its visitors.
Information services: the tickets office is prepared to provide information regarding the running of the museum, guide system and their respective fees, as well as guidance pertinent to transport, routes, hotels, restaurants and other touristic attractions in the district and the city.