What is pucara?

What Does pucara Mean

Pucará , also accepted as pucara , is a term of Quechua origin that is used to refer to a type of fortress that was built by aboriginal peoples of the American continent . These structures, which stood on high ground, were developed with pircas : Dry stone walls.

The pucarás were frequent in Andean cultures distributed in parts of the South American territory. They were strategic and defensive facilities where the rulers resided.
In Argentina , for example, you can find the remains of the pucará de Tilcara , in the province of Jujuy . Located on the top of a hill , it was populated at the end of the 8th century .

It is an archaeological site made up of several constructions made by the tilcaras, belonging to the group of indigenous peoples known by the names of humahuacas or omaguacas . The pucará de Tilcara is located in a strategic site of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, at a distance of 1 kilometer from the homonymous city, on top of a hill that is 80 meters high and next to the confluence of the Huasamayo and Large, whose altitude in this area is close to 2450 meters above sea level.
The reason that these towns have built their pucara there is that it allowed them to dominate the only two roads in the area, in addition to having the defense of the cliffs of the Rio Grande and the slopes. To counteract the easily accessible slopes, they decided to build high-rise walls. It is important to note that these spaces had objectives beyond defense, since they also served for certain religious practices and to control the fields of cultivation and the surrounding houses.
The pucará de Tilcara is one of the oldest and best known in its region. Although its exact extension has not been measured, it is estimated that it could reach 15 hectares. Regarding its age, it is around 1160 years old. On its surface we can see various neighborhoods for the inhabitants, a necropolis, several corrals and even a site dedicated to sacred ceremonies .
The person responsible for the discovery of this important pucara was Juan Bautista Ambrosetti , a renowned ethnographer and naturalist born in Argentina in 1865. The event took place in 1908, while he was in the middle of an archaeological investigation in the northwest of the country together with Salvador Debenedetti , his faithful disciple who after his death carried out his work on his behalf. They spent three more years there, during which they collected around three thousand pieces, thanks to whose observation they were able to estimate what the life of its inhabitants had been like before the Spanish invasion.

Near San Pedro de Atacama , in Chile , is the pucará de Quitor . It was built in the 12th century on a slope of about 80 meters high. Ecuador , for its part, has the Quitoloma pucara , in the province of Pichincha .
The term Pucará also appears in the denomination of several current administrative divisions. In Bolivia , Pucará is the name of a municipality that is part of the Vallegrande province ( Santa Cruz department ). Peru , meanwhile, has the town of Pucará in the province of Lampa (department of Puno ).
The IA-58 Pucará , on the other hand, is the name of a model airplane created by the Argentine Air Force in the 1960s . This turboprop aircraft was designed for attacking ground targets.
The Argentine State used Pucará airplanes to fight the guerrillas in the province of Tucumán . Then he used them in the Malvinas War , in 1982 . Colombia , Uruguay and Sri Lanka are other countries that turned to the Pucará for the development of different missions.

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