Tambo Colorado, Peru

An Incan center of power



Setting up a panorama rig at Tambo Colorado by CyArk Project PartnersCyArk

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.

An aerial view showing the layout of the structures at Tambo Colorado by CyArk Project PartnersCyArk

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.

Niche detail with original pigment at Tambo Colorado by CyArk Project PartnersCyArk

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.

Tambo Colorado Section by CyArkCyArk

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.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the generous support of Kacyra Family Foundation and the following partners:

National Institute for Culture Peru

University of California, Berkeley

The Institute for Applied Technologies for Cultural Assets

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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