Tambo Colorado, Peru


An Incan center of power

Expedition Overview
During four field seasons from 2001 to 2005, a team from the University of California, Berkeley in partnership with the Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ITABC) in Rome, conducted documentation at the Incan administrative center of Tambo Colorado, Peru. The detailed digital documentation of the site, collected through survey, LiDAR and photogrammetry, was used to support archaeological and architectural research at Tambo Colorado. The research was partially funded by the Kacyra Family Foundation and UC Berkeley.
Introducing Tambo Colorado
The Inca administrative center of Tambo Colorado sits strategically at the mouth of the Pisco valley, on the southern coast of Peru. Built in 1470 CE, it was a hub along the Andean Road System. Built to convey the power of the Inca Empire, the site contains multiple palatial buildings surrounding a plaza. Located far from the center of the Inca empire, provincial sites like Tambo Colorado served as both economic and cultural centers.
Late Imperial Architecture
Tambo Colorado contains extensive standing architecture made primarily from adobe, with elements characteristic of classic Inca imperial architecture as well as others borrowed from local Chincha and Ica traditions. The site contains intricate lattice work, single and double-framed niches, ornamental crests, and corbeled arches, constructed from stone and adobe. The adobe walls were adorned with plaster and painted with horizontal, alternating ribbons of white, red and yellow.

Using the 3D data collected during the project, CyArk is able to produce architectural drawings, like this point cloud elevation that can be used in site management.

Summary of Data Captured

This project resulted in the following data which is now freely available for non-commercial use.

Areas with LiDAR documentation are indicated in grey.

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Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the following partners:

National Institute for Culture Peru

University of California, Berkeley

The Institute for Applied Technologies for Cultural Assets

Kacyra Family Foundation

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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