Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto

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Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto is part of the Tentative list of Peru in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Toro Muerto is a site of petroglyphs engraved between 800 and 1500 on more than 2500 rocks of volcanic origin located in a desertic valley. The artists created anthropomorphic, zoomorphic (camelids, dogs, birds, reptiles...) and geometric motifs as well as scenes from everyday life. It is an exceptional ensemble which represents a unique tradition of rock art.

Map of Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Wojciech Fedoruk

Poland - 22-Nov-22 -

Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto (T) by Wojciech Fedoruk

Coming from Nazca to Arequipa by car it is worth turning left and visiting some of the most interesting rock drawings I have ever seen. The site is called Toro Muerto (Dead Bull), but this name could be changed to almost any other animal - nothing can survive in this desert except perhaps a camel - but there are no camels in the New World. The petroglyphs are close to the village of Corire and the fertile valley of the Camana River, but in this part of Peru only a few rivers are suitable for life. It is enough to drive a kilometer or two to the side and you can meet there at most sand and rocks.

There is a kind of information center in Corire where you have to buy tickets and get a guide to the petroglyphs. However, we passed this place and got to Toro Muerto without paying anything. The road is quite well marked, there is even a parking lot and a shelter with a suggested path. It is good to more or less stick to this path, because it was led next to the most spectacular petroglyphs. The greatest joy, however, is to bounce off it and look for drawings on your own. And there are hundreds of them, some very large, others noticeable only after climbing the rock. The place is delightful, although I was surprised by the dating of these drawings - they were created between 500 and 1000 AD, at a time when much more advanced things were created in Peru centuries earlier, including wonderful ceramics. Comparable drawings elsewhere in the world (e.g. Hail in Saudi Arabia) were made several thousand years earlier. So this is a rare case when I have no opinion whether this place should be inscribed.

Right next to Toro Muerto there is another curiosity - Jurassic Park Querulpa. At first glance, the place looks like a less-than-successful dummy amusement park for kids - you go up among life-sized plastic dinosaur casts. But perseverance will be rewarded - at the very top there are real dinosaur footprints.


Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Polska - 30-Aug-19 -

Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto (T) by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Site visited in November, 2013. Finally it has been added to tentative places. One of the best petroglyph site I have ever seen, can be compared only with Tamgaly in Kazakchstan. 


The best place to start exploration of the site is a small town of Corire, some 3 hours by bus from Arequipa (doable as a day trip if you stay in Arequipa). While in Corire you have 2 options to reach the site. One is walk - around 3 km from Corire center (mind that the last part of the road is barren lanscape with no shadow - in hot days it may be difficult. Other option is to take a taxi from central Corire. The taxi will take you there, wait for you and take you back to Corire, prices are negotiable.


On a way from Corire towards Toro Muerto there is a small visitor's centre and ticket booth. If closed someone will come to you while you are visiting the place. As far as I remember official entrance fee was around 5 peruvian soles per person.


Toro Muerto petroglyphs are located in the upper part of La Candelaria village in vast valley. As of 2013 the area was completely unmarked, no paths, no signs, you just go and see on your own. Thousand of stones, rock, the majority of them were with some kind of carvings - typical scenes as in other places - hunting scenes, animals, people, different symbols. But what really matters is the concentration of them. You can spend hours on finding different petroglyphs, each big rock or stone can be covered with them. Reserve at least two hours to explore the area. Have in mind that there are no trees, no shadow there, just barren landscape so take water during sunny day together with sun protective precautions.


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Full Name
Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto
Country
Peru
Added
2019
Type
Cultural
Categories
Archaeological site - Rock Art
Link
By ID
2019 Added to Tentative List

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Archaeological Complex of Toro Muerto (T)

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