Pucará de Tilcara

The Pucará de Tilcara is a pre-Inca fortification or pukara located on a hill just outside (approximately a 15-minute walk) the small town of Tilcara, in the Argentine province of Jujuy. The location was strategically chosen to be easily defensible and to provide good views over a long stretch of the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

The Pucará de Tilcara was declared a National Monument in 2000. It has been partially rebuilt, and is the only publicly accessible archaeological site in the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

 Pucará de Tilcara

Traces of human habitation in the area date back more than 10,000 years. The fortified town was originally built by the Omaguaca tribe,[1] who settled in the area around the 12th century. Experts in agriculture, weaving and pottery, they were also renowned warriors. During their time, the pucará served as an important administrative and military center.

At its peak, the pucará covered up to about 15 acres (61,000 m2) and housed over 2,000 inhabitants, living in small square stone buildings with low doorways and no windows. Besides living quarters, the pucará contained corrals for animals, sites to perform religious ceremonies and burial sites.

In the late 15th century, the tribes of the Quebrada were finally conquered by the Incas under Tupac Inca Yupanqui, who used the pucará as a military outpost and to secure the supply of metals such as silver, zinc, and copper which were mined nearby.

The Incan domination of the area only lasted for about half a century, and ended with the arrival of the Spanish in 1536, who founded the modern town of Tilcara in 1586.

^ the name "Omaguaca" is derived from the Quechua language and may mean "place of people clothed in leather"
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