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Saturday, 9 July 2016

340) Currency of Peru: Nuevo Sol (Sun) and Centavo (Part III): (i) Presently Circulating Banknotes, including descriptions of the famous Personalities and (ii) the Enigma of Ancient Heritage Cities/Cultures of Peru which feature on the Banknotes iii) The ancient communication systems of the Incas down the generations:

340) Currency of Peru: Nuevo Sol and Centavo (Part III): (i) Presently Circulating Banknotes, including descriptions of the famous Personalities and (ii) the Enigma of Ancient Heritage Cities/Cultures of Peru which feature on the Banknotes (iii) The ancient communication systems of the Incas down the generations:

For Part I of the Post on Peru titled “338) Currency of Peru: Nuevo Sol (Sun) and Centavo: (Part I): (i) About Peru  (ii) History-Brief recap (ii) Creation of Spanish mints in Peru (iii) Independence of Peru (iv) Experiments with currencies, including short-lived ones (v) Establishment of the Central Bank of Peru, link to which is as follows: Currency of Peru (Part I)

(For Part II of the Post on :"339) Currency of Peru: Nuevo Sol (Sun) and Centavo: (Part II): (i) Coins of the Nuevo Sol (ii) Coat of Arms of Peru (iii) Commemorative Coins: Numismatic Series on Natural Resources of Peru (iii) Commemorative Coins: Numismatic Series on “Wealth and Pride of Peru” (iv) Banknotes of the Nuevo Sol (Brief Review), please click on the following link: Please click here )

(For Part III of the Post on: " 340) Currency of Peru: Nuevo Sol (Sun) and Centavo (Part III): (i) Presently Circulating Banknotes, including descriptions of the famous Personalities and (ii) the Enigma of Ancient Heritage Cities/Cultures of Peru which feature on the Banknotes iii) The ancient communication systems of the Incas down the generations:(Please click here)


Presently circulating Banknotes (denominated as “Nuevos Soles” or New Suns)

New Banknotes put into circulation by the Central Bank of Peru are in the denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Sols. These Banknotes incorporate new designs and greater security features.
 On the Front of the 10 Nuevos Soles or “Diez Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a portrait of Jose Abelardo Quinones.

On the Front of the 10 Nuevos Soles or “Diez Nuevos Soles Banknote is a portrait of Jose Abelardo Quinones.

Jose Abelardo Quinones Gonzales (22.04.1914 – 23.07.1941): He was a Lieutenant in the Air Force of Peru, and a National Hero, so designated for his role in the conflict with Ecuador in 1941, in which he carried out a suicide attack against enemy targets.

Born in the Port of Pimental, North of Peru on 22.04.1914, he was fascinated by aviation and was encouraged for his flying interests by Karl Weiss, Director of the San Jose National College of Chiclayo, where he completed his primary education. His later education was High school in Lima at the First Sacred Heart Recoleta College and then at the National College of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In 1935, he joined as a Cadet at the Central School of Aviation “Jorge Chavez” and was part of the team of Commandante Jose L. Raguz, famous for its ability to adapt to different/difficult flying conditions and the pilots were also skilled in flying close to the ground. This manoeuvre has been well documented in old movies or 1939.

In 1941, when conflict began with Ecuador, Jose Abelardo Quinones was part of the First Light Division of Peru whose targets were to recover the border in the areas of Quebrada Seca.

On 23.07.1941, the 41st Squadron commanded by Lieutenant Antonio Alberti and having Lieutenants Fernando Paraud and Jose Quinones and Ensign Manuel Rivera in its group, took off from Tumbes to carry out its mission.

When they were on target, they began bombing the enemy positions in Quebrada Seca. The plane piloted by Lieutenant Quinones made its descent to drop bombs, but was hit by flak. Instead of ejecting from the burning aircraft and using his parachute, Lt. Quinones chose to strike at an enemy target in a “Kamikaze style” dive, immolating himself in the process to fulfil his mission.

On 19.10.1941, three months later, Colonel Octavio A. Ochoa, Head of the Fourth Military Zone Ecuador, handed over the remains of Lt. Quinones to the Peruvian Air Force mentioning “I give the Air Force the remains of a Peruvian pilot who knew how to honour his country, his people and his Armed Forces. My people (Ecuador) pay homage to the Peruvian people and their heroic dignity embodied in the figure of Jose Quinones Gonzales”. 

 On the Back of the earlier Banknotes issued in 1991, was a  Caproni Ca.113 flying upside down piloted by Jose Quinones Gonzales 
 On the Back of the present 10 Nuevos Soles or “Diez Nuevos Soles” Banknote is Machu Picchu at Cusco, which was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983

On the Back of the 10 Nuevos Soles or “Diez Nuevos Soles Banknote is the citadel of Machu Picchu, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.

Macchu Picchu:

From the UNESCO Book titled “Treasures of the World” in my personal library:

 “Machu Picchu stands 2430 m above sea level in an extraordinarily beautiful setting in the middle of a tropical mountain forest. The city was probably the greatest urban achievement of the Inca Empire at its height. Its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting on the Eastern slopes of the Andes encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.

Set on the vertiginous site of a granite mountain, sculpted by erosion and dominating a meander in the Rio Urubamba, Machu Picchu is a world-renowned archaeological site. Its construction, set out according to a very rigorous plan, comprises one of the most spectacular creations of the Incas, the largest civilisation in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans. It appears to date from the period of the two great Inca Rulers – Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438-71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472-93). The function of this city, which is over 100 km from the Inca capital Cuzco, is still unknown. Without making a judgment as to their purpose, several individual quarters may be noted in the ruins – a “farmer’s quarter” near the colossal terraces whose slopes were cultivated and transformed into hanging gardens; an “industrial quarter”, a “royal quarter” and a “religious quarter”.

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu covers 325, in some of the scenically most attractive mountainous territory of the Peruvian Andes. It was the last stronghold of the Incas, is of superb architectural and archaeological importance and remains one of the most important cultural sites in Latin America. The site’s stonework is a first-class example of the use of a natural raw material to create outstanding architecture totally appropriate to the surroundings.

The surrounding valleys have been cultivated continuously for well over 1,000 years, providing one of the World’s greatest long-term examples of a productive man-land relationship. The people living around Machu Picchu continue a way of life closely resembling that of their Inca ancestors, being based on potatoes, maize and Llamas. Machu Picchu also provides a secure habitat for several endangered species, notably the spectacled bear.”

Machu Picchu bears, with Cuzco and the other archaeological sites of the valley of the Urubamba (Ollantautaybo, Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupamarca, Huinay Huayna, Intipucu and others), a unique testimony to the Inca civilisation. Machu Picchu in particular is an outstanding example of man’s interaction with his natural environment.

Macchu Picchu - explained:

The construction of Machu Picchu dates from the last third of the 15th Century, from Incan times, the last phase of the ancestral Peruvian civilisation whose beginnings date back to about 6,000 years.

It is presumed that its primary function was to serve as an administrative centre for the production of cultivated terraced farming or platforms built on the Andean slopes for agriculture and for ceremonious rituals for propitiating the Gods on whose approval the people’s sustenance was believed to depend – the “God of Water” and the Land Goddess “Pachamama”.

Along with other agricultural complexes that abound in the Vicabamba area, where Machu Picchu is located, it is believed to have been built as part of a vast state project aimed at extending the agricultural frontier into areas of Amazonian Andes near Cuzco.

This is so, because in Peru, the potential of land suitable for cultivation is meagre both on the Cordilleranos Andes and the coastal Andes. As such the soils were deficient since early Andean civilisations and with growth in population, depending on agriculture as a means of sustenance became a major worry. Also, continuous cultivation on available lands resulted in ecological imbalances, as such, multiple strategies were adopted to overcome the food problem and one of them was the option to expand the agricultural frontier.

Coupled with these pressing problems was the phenomenon of tornados and hurricanes – “El Nino” which recurrently brought about drought or storm floods and other calamities of nature which affected the production of edible food produce.

To avert natural disasters, it was believed that the Gods should be propitiated by resorting to magical-religious ceremonies. The foremost among the gods was the “God of Andean Water”, the divine being of highest rank having his abode in the highest peaks and the Earth Goddess – “Pachamama” to bring about rain and good food crops.

Interestingly, these divine beings are still venerated in several parts of the Peruvian Andes.

On the Front of the 20 Nuevos Soles or “Veinte Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a portrait of Raul Porras Barrenechea.

Raul Porras Barrenechea (23.03.1897 – 27.09.1960):

Born in the city of Pisco on 23.03.1897, was a writer and published several stories, even during his school days at Colegio San Jose de Cluny and then at Sacred Hearts Recoleta School, both at Lima, in school magazines.

Later he joined the Faculty of Arts at the University of San Marcos in 1913, where he became a Professor of Literature Castellana and clerked at the Supreme Court of Lima.

His talent was recognised by the University Conservatorio where several leading lights had studied and taught. Here, he started several literary magazines, including “Alma Latina”.

He became a teacher at various schools in Lima – Anglo-Peruvian, Antonio Raimondi and the German School. He excelled as a professor in the Department of History of Peru at the University of San Marcos, the Catholic University and the Diplomatic Academy.

Between 1936 and 1938, he was Minister Plenipotentiary of Peru in the League of Nations (present day United Nations) and Ambassador to Spain between 1948 and 1949, and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1958 to 1960. He was elected senator in 1956 and became the President of that Chamber.

He authored several works, prominent among them are – “History of the limits of Peru”, “Primitive relations of the conquest of Peru”, “Anthology of Cosco” and “The Chroniclers of Peru”.

He passed away on 27.09.1960. His home in Miraflores has been converted into a Museum.

On the Back of the 20 Nuevos Soles or “Veinte Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a Chimu, one of the Huacas part of Chan Chan Wall, (mentioned on the Banknote as “Gudadela de Chan Chan- Trujillo”). Chan Chan was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986.

Chan Chan Wall: This is among the most extensive prehistoric settlements of America. It is an architectural body considered to be the capital of the Great Chimu, a socio-political entity that spread along the coastline to the North to Tumbes and South to Lima.

Chan Chan was an atypical city as cities go, but representative of the Central Andes of 7th to 14th Century AD. The city was well developed and made of concrete lasting throughout the Intermediate Period i.e. between 650 to a little over 1300 AD,  a progressive manifestation and gradual development of many cultures and the styles which speak of the historical heritage and unity of ancient Peruvian cultures.

Chimu, the capital of Chan Chan, consists of two sections – one, the nuclear area, consisting of nine sets of enclosures called citadels and  composed of mounds that correspond to human settlements and stepped pyramids and the other marginal area, one of which is the Huaca” the Dragon, or Centipedes or Rainbow.

The structure has two overlapping platforms with a ramp ascent, enclosed by a high wall of adobes (“adobe” is a sun-dried brick made of clay and straw, in common use in countries having little rainfall). This whole structure is lavishly decorated, in the middle horizontal portion of its walls, with repetitive figures of a two-headed being, curved back, leaving the hooks and whose subsidiary elements are accompanying small anthropomorphic creatures. At the upper edge is a procession of masked dancers carrying canes. Each decorated section is separated from the other by a vertical strip, in which other characters are placed. The entire set is painted. The style of these figures is reminiscent of the “Middle Horizon” period which speaks of the historical heritage and unity of ancient Peruvian cultures which was at its peak during the Inca Empire.

From the UNESCO Book titled “Treasures of the World” in my personal library:
                         An image of Chan Chan wall

“The planning of Chan Chan, largest city of pre-Hispanic America and a unique testimony to the disappeared Chimu kingdom, is a masterpiece of inhabited space and hierarchical construction. Chan Chan was the capital of the kingdom of Chimor which reached its zenith in the fifteenth century, shortly before its fall to the Chimu’s great rivals, the Incas.

The planning of this huge 6 sq km city reflects a strict political and social strategy, illustrated by its division into nine “palaces” - autonomous units delineated by high, earthen walls. Each “palace” was grouped around one or more squares and their buildings include temples, dwellings, storehouses, kitchens, orchards, gardens and funeral platforms.

Nearby lie four industrial sectors where the main activities appear to be woodworking, weaving and precious-metal working. The remains of an irrigation system suggest another area used for farming.

An irrigation system channelled water from the Moche River to Chan Chan. It is difficult to imagine the fertility of this now desert region during the height of the Chimu civilisation.

Hatred of the Incas led the Chimu to welcome the Spanish conquistadors. In 1535, the Spanish founded a new capital at Trujillo, 5 km from Chan Chan, which was abandoned.

On the Front of the 50 Nuevos Soles or “Cincuenta Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a portrait of Abraham Valdelomar Pinto.

Abraham Valdelomar Pinto (27.04.1888 – 03.11.1919):

He was a Narrator, Essayist and Playwright and was born at Ica on 27.04.1888 in Ayacucho.

He had his early education in the cities of Pisco and Chincha and passed his High school at Our Lady of Guadalupe National College in Lima, where he started a magazine “La Guadalupana Idea” with his friend Manuel Bedoya in 1903.

After entering the Faculty of Arts at the National University of San Marcos in 1905, he left the school to work as a draftsman in several magazines – “Applause and Whistles” “Monkeys and Mohandas”, “News”, “Cinema” and “Gil Blas” (where he worked as artistic director).

He published his first poems in the magazine “Contemporaries” in 1909 and resumed his studies in 1910. He became a soldier in the “University Battalion” which was formed by the students of San Marcos, following the war with Ecuador. During his stay in the barracks he wrote “With the Algerian Wind” which was published in “El Diario” and “La Opinion Nacional de Lima.

In 1910, he published his first stories in “Variety” and “Illustration Peruvian” magazines, which also serialised his novellas “Consumptive City” and “The Dead City” in 1911.

In 1912, he participated in the presidential campaign of Guillermo Billinghurst, who after his election victory, appointed him as Administrator of the state Press and Director of the official newspaper “El Peruano”. He was then appointed Second secretary of the embassy of Peru in Italy.

In Rome, he wrote “Chronicles of Rome” which was published in the Lima daily “La Nacion” and “La Opinion Nacional”. While in Italy, he won first prize at a literary competition organised by the Nation, with his story “El Caballero Carmelo”.

Upon returning to Peru, he worked as Personal Secretary to Jose de la Riva-Aguero, under whose influence he wrote his first book in 1914The Marschallin”, a fictionalised biography of Francisca Zubiaga, wife of President Agustin Gamarra, who played an important role in Peruvian politics.

From July 1915 to 1918, he worked in the Newspaper “La Prensa”, where he was in charge of the “Words” section and where he published “Fragile Chronicles” and “Maximum Dialogues”.

The multiplicity of genres cultivated by Valdelomar and enthusiasm and energy that informed his writings, earned him the recognition of his contemporaries, many of whom, including Vallejo, considered him as their teacher.

His stories which mark the starting point of modern narrative of Peru are organised in two books: “El Caballero” (this tells of the sad story of a fighting rooster) and “Los Hijos del Sol” (this deals with the historical past of Peruvian stories and legends). His poetry was characterised by its particular evolution from modernism to post-modernism, with several innovative touches.

He passed away on 03.11.1919.

On the Back of the 50 Nuevos Soles or “Cincuenta Nuevos Soles” Banknote is the New Temple of Chavin. (Mentioned as “Ruinas del Templo Nuevo Chavin de Huantar – Ancash”).

New Temple of Chavin:

The New Temple is part of the archaeological complex of Chavin, located about 462 km North-East of the city of Lima, in the Ancash Region. This was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

In Chavin, the greatest expression of the Chavin civilisation, are the remains of its temples, a complex of buildings, terraces, platforms, plazas, underground tunnels, channels and columns, which bear testimony to a highly organised city built some 3000 years ago.

Among these buildings built in stone is the “Old Temple”, the largest pyramid (71 metres x 71 metres), whose most notable feature is having an inner passage in which a stone idol known as “the Lanzon” is housed. This Temple has a circular Plaza of about 20.8 metres in diameter.

The “New Temple”, the most famous Chavin building has a square Square (50.2 x 50.2 metres). One enters it by the “Porch of the Falconicas” which is preceded by an atrium and a set of stairs that ascend from the square Square with stone sculptures that function as lintels and columns, as well as gravestones with engraved characters.

The “New Temple” is the final version of all architectural projects in Chavin. Their spatial organisation follows the same East-West axis of the ancient Temple, facing East. The New Temple has its main hub in a huge trunk – a pyramidal platform and the “Templo Mayor” (meaning the “Great Temple”) is formed from several aggregates in the South Wing of the Old Temple.

This building was surrounded by a border of stones engraved with images of birds, snakes and cats in their visible sides. Immediately below them are the anthromorphic heads made of finely carved stones that served as enchape (meaning cladding or for protection) on the sides of the Temple which are about 12 metres from the ground. These heads are attached to the wall.

From the UNESCO Book titled “Treasures of the World” in my personal library:

The archaeological site of Chavin gave its name to the culture that developed between 1500 BC and 300 BC in this high valley of the Peruvian Andes. This former place of worship is one of the earliest and best-known pre-Colombian sites. Its appearance is striking, with the complex of terraces and squares, surrounded by structures of dressed stone and the mainly zoomorphic ornamentation. Chavin’s location in a high valley of the Peruvian Andes did not deter its architects and artists from producing some remarkable structures, which include immense sculpted megaliths, one of which is more than 4 metres in height.

             A feline head, one of the zoomorphic carvings at Chavin

On the Front of the 100 Nuevos Soles or “Cen Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a portrait of Jorge Basadre Grohmann.

Jorge Basadre Grohmann (12.02.1903-29.06.1980):

He was born in Tacna on 12.02.1903.

When he was nine years old his family moved to Lima, where he studied at the German School “Deutsche Schule” and did his senior year at the College of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He joined the National University of san Marcos in 1919, where he obtained a degree in Doctor of Letters and Jurisprudence and a Law degree.

He was a historian, writer and Professor for several years and held important positions.

In 1925, he was part of the Peruvian delegation sent to the plebiscite commission of Tacna and Arica.

In 1930, he was appointed Director of the Central Library of San Marcos.

In 1931, he published a book “Peru: problem and possibility

Known as a historian of the Republic, his magnum opus is the “History of the Republic of Peru”, edited and expanded several times since its first publication in 1939. The content of this work goes beyond historical limits and explores possibilities and this writing is popular with the young and the old alike.

Between 1931 and 1935, he was out of the country conducting studies in Library Science and history at Universities in the USA and Europe.

He was in charge of the management of the National Library (1943-1948). After the library was destroyed in a fire in 1943, he rebuilt it from scratch. In that context, he was regarded as the third founder of the National library, the previous ones being – San Martin and Ricardo Palma.

He later travelled to the Washington, USA, where he held the position of Director of Cultural Affairs of the Pan American Union (1948-1950).

He was Minister of Education twice – in 1945 and then again from 1956-58).

Among the important books and documents published by him during this period are “The crowd, the town and country in the history of Peru”, “The initiation of the Republic”, “Introduction to the documentary basis for the history of the Republic of Peru”, “Chance in history and its limits”, “Life and history, essays on people, places and problems”, “Elections and Centralism in Peru”.

He was one of the most renowned Peruvian intellectual of the 20th Century. He passed away on 29.06.1980.

On the Back of the 100 Nuevos Soles or “Cen Nuevos Soles” Banknote is the Great Pajaten – San Martin (mentioned as “Ruinas del Gran Pajetan – San Martin”)

Great Pajaten:

The archaeological complex of the Chachapoyas Culture known as the “Great Pajaten” is located 2,850 metres above sea-level on a hill on a narrow plateau of the Rio Abiseo National Park, in the high forest border of the La Libertad and San Martin region, at the confluence of the Maranon and Huallaga Rivers. (The Park is a Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO since 1990. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans settled in this area around 6,000 BC. Research undertaken since 1985 has uncovered at least 36 previously unknown archaeological sites at altitudes of 2,500 to 4,000 metres, which give a good picture of pre-Inca society).

Formed by at least 26 circular stone structures atop numerous terraces and staircases, it occupies an area of 2 hectares. The enclosures, which through a thick rainforest were found covered, are decorated with slate mosaics showing geometric patterns, birds and humans.

Analyses of samples of pottery made radiocarbon indicate that the area was occupied around 200 BC, but the ruins visible today were built during the time of the Incas.

The stairs connecting the different levels of the complex facilitate the movement of people to different parts of the complex.  The circular towers, with diameters ranging from 2 to 15 metres, stand very close together, but at different levels.

The whole architectural complex shows meandering streets and platforms, where the towers are located. One of the monuments that stands out is a building of 13 metres in diameter, whose entrance is flanked by flat panels stone friezes showing five human figures with knees bent outward and bent arms. Each of these figures has head rivets with two different styles of head-dresses alternating between figures. The top is decorated with a stepped fret with zig-zag lines, distinctive designs of the Chachapoyas architecture.
On the Front of the 200 Nuevos Soles or “Doscientos Nuevos Soles” Banknote is a portrait of Santa Rosa de Lima

On the Front of the 200 Soles or “Doscientos Nuevos Soles Banknote is an image of Santa Rosa de Lima.

Santa Rosa de Lima (meaning “Saint Rose of Lima):

Isabel Flores de Oliva or Santa Rosa de Lima (30.04.1586-24.08.1617):

Her father was a member of the viceregal guard of the Spanish colonial Empire and she was born in a family of 13 siblings.

Later, her father became the employment manager of a textile mill in the mountain village of Quives about 60 km from Lima.

By 1597, her experiences in the village and on observing the sufferings of the Peruvian Indian workers sparked in her a great resolution to serve the downtrodden masses of Society.

Later, her father returned to Lima, where she grew up in a very religious atmosphere which abounded with miracles, cures etc and people attached great importance to the Christian virtues and quality of life.

Santa Rosa modelled herself on Catherine of Siena, a Tuscany Saint of the 14th Century and in 1606, became a nun with the Order of San Domingo, and went into seclusion in a Hermitage she built with the help of her brother Fernando at one end of the garden in her house and only emerging to visit the Temple of Our lady of the rosary and to tend to the sick who came seeking her help to her house, where she had also built an infirmary.

She was influenced by many spiritual guides and continued with her mission of helping the sick, infirm and the poor throughout her life.

Her work took a toll on her health and during the last years of her life she took seriously ill and stayed at the house of Gonzales de la Maza, who was with the viceregal government. At this place is now located the Monastery of Santa Rosa de Santa Maria de Lima.

She passed away at the age of 31 on 24.08.1617. Her remains are venerated in the temple of Santo Domingo.

She was canonised by Pope Clement X in 1671. She was the first Saint of America and the Patroness of Lima and Peru since 1669, the New World and the Philippines since 1670 and patron of the National Police of Peru. Her house in the centre of Peru is visited by devotees and tourists. At the chapel where she prayed devotees deposit their written requests for her help in healing their sicknesses.
 On the Back of the 200 Nuevos Soles or “Doscientos Nuevos Soles” Banknote is the Scared City of Caral-Supe, mentioned as "Cuidad Sagrada De Caral La Mas Antigua De America - 3000 - 1800 AC - Supe

On the Back of the 200 Soles or “Doscientos Nuevos Soles Banknote is an illustration of the Sacred City of Caral-Supe.

Sacred City of Caral-Supe:

The Sacred City of Caral is located in the Supe Valley, 200 km North of Lima is approximately 5,000 years old. It is considered to be the oldest city in the Americas and has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in June 2009. The Caral-Supe civilisation or Norte Chico was contemporary of other great civilisations like China, India, Egypt, Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica which are recognised as the ancient “hot-beds” of world culture.

Caral was built over 65 hectares of land. About 5,000 years ago or 3,000 BC, Caral was a city of monumental pyramids. Earlier it was thought to be about 1,500 years old, but through research on a skull of a sacrificed boy found during excavations, it’s age has now been determined at about 5,000 years old.

Caral was presumably a City-State of theocratic organisation that can be considered as the cradle of Andean civilisation. Its construction required a high degree of technology and social organisation. Caral buildings are shaped like pyramids and were used by rulers as a centre of religious activities, as well as, political or economic activities. As is represented in the pyramids, religious monuments with plazas, atriums and altars, religion was the means of cohesion and coercion which was used to control the population, goods production and economic activity. Interestingly, tactiles have also been recovered during excavations with patterns which suggest that this civilisation was using an ancient form of “Quipu”.

                                            Image of Quipu
 Communication systems of the Quipu through knots
(“Quipu” or “Khipu”: means a “knot” in Quechua, the indigenous language of the Andes. and was an ancient Inca method for recording information, consisting of variously coloured threads knotted in different ways. In the absence of written records, the “Quipus” served as a means of recording history and passed on to the next generation, which used them as reminders of past events and stories. These messages included information about resources in storehouses, taxes, census information, output of mines or the composition of work forces. Even poems and legends were composed and preserved on the Quipus.

As such these functioned as “primitive computers” and had knotted in them the information which tied together the Inca Empire down the generations.)

From the UNESCO Book titled “Treasures of the World” in my personal library:

The Sacred City of Caral – Supe (declared a World Heritage Site in 2009 by UNESCO).

                           Img Sacred city of Caral-Supe

The Sacred City of Caral-Supe reflects the rise of civilisation in the Americas. As a fully developed state of the third millennium BC, it is remarkable for its social and political complexity and its impact on developing settlements throughout the Supe valley and beyond.

Exceptionally well preserved, Caral is one of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area and features complex architectural and spatial elements in particular, its monumental earthen platform mounds and sunken circular courts are powerful expressions of a consolidated state. These features were to influence and dominate much of the Peruvian coast for centuries.

The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residences of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology.

The 5,000 year old 0.7 archaeological site of Caral-Supe stands on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe River. The city was a centre of Norte Chico civilisation, a pre-Columbian society and the oldest civilisation in the Americas and one of the oldest in the world.

Change of the name Nuevo Sol back to Sol wef 15.12.2015:

As on 15.12.2015, the Currency which was called “Nuevo Sol” has been named “Sol”. This is, because the users are already familiar with the designs and usage of the Nuevo Sol currency. As such it has been decided by the government to drop the term Nuevo from the Banknotes and coinage. During the period of transition from “Nuevo Sol” to its general acceptance as “Sol” both terms are being used parallely to address Peruvian currency, however from 2017 onwards only the term “Sol” would be in vogue/use.

Banknotes and Coins denoted in “Nuevo Soles” would however, continue to be accepted as legal tender, till users get familiar with the “Sol” denominated currency and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru decides on a date of demonetisation of the “Nuevo Sol”.

(The above Banknotes are from the collection of Jayant Biswas. Banknotes scanned and post researched and written by Rajeev Prasad)

Links to some other interesting posts on South American countries & Mexico:

1) The Travels of a silver Mexican Peso struck in 1898 and restruck in 1949 for the Chinese Government

2) Brazilian Currency: Brazilian Real

3) The 31st Summer Olympics 2015 or Rio-2016 - Brazil

4) Currency and Coinage of Guatemala

5) Currency and Coinage of the Republic of Chile (Part I)

6) Currency and Coinage of the Republic of Chile (Part II)

7) Banknotes and Coinage of Colombia (Part I)

8) Banknotes and Coinage of Colombia (Part II)

9) Currency and Coinage of Mexico - Pesos and Centavos (Part I)

10) Currency and Coinage of Mexico - Pesos and Centavos (Part II)

11) Evita or Eva Peron - A Commemorative/Circulating 100 Pesos Banknote issued on her in 2012

12) Currency and Coinage of Peru: Nuevo Sol and Centavo (Part I)

13) Currency and Coinage of Peru: Nuevo Sol and Centavo (Part II)

14) Currency and Coinage of Peru: Nuevo Sol and Centavo (Part III)

15) 2014 FIFA World Cup held at Brazil 

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