Los Menhires Reserve

In a setting of valleys and ravines that relax the senses, the menhirs in El Mollar are a classic destination chosen by visitors, as well as the main attraction of the village. It only takes a walk along the Archaeological Reserve Los Menhires and a look at the 50 types of rocks dating from more than 2000 years (from the beginning of the Christian era)- that rise up to 3 meters high- to be amazed by the archaeological legacy of the primitive races.

The word menhir has a Celtic origin and it means “long stone”, though it would be more appropriate to use the Quechua terms “huanca” or “wanka”, which refer to the natives as protectors and those in favor of the crop and livestock. Unfortunately, the menhirs were moved several times and this fact was detrimental to their study and protection, because it was impossible to register all the necessary information to understand their meaning.

Nevertheless, it is said that for the primitive races, they were monuments to worship fertility. They were made of metamorphic rock, sometimes with pieces of quartz and granite; materials that can be found along the valley. The shapes represented in the mehnirs are surprising: sometimes they show human faces and other times animal faces, mainly felines. Others are geometric and there also are combinations of different types.

In some cases, the phallic shape is too notorious, in others it is less notorious, and the most antique documents for the Andean area relate them with life-giving activities, with the ancestor Huanta and the first settlements in the valleys.