A Stone Pillar of a Condor Marked the Equinox at the Site of Buena Vista, Peru at 2200 BC


  • R.A. Benfer Jr. University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Lucio Laura Museo de Antropolgía, La Molina




animated mountain peaks, Buena Vista, Condor, Fox, incisings, Late Preceramic, monumental architecture, Peru, stone pillars


The thesis of this study is that a well-attested mythological trope concerning the Fox and the Condor is apparent in archaeological features at Buena Vista in Chillón Valley, a site in Peru dating to 2200 BC. The myth identifies the Fox as an observer of human ritual activities who reports them to the Condor, who in turn flies up to the animate mountain peaks (apus) to inform them of these activities. With that information, the apus mete out punishments or rewards based on whether the rituals were adequate. At Buena Vista, this is expressed by an equinoctial alignment between a temple with an incised fox and a stone pillar carved into the shape of a condor.


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Author Biographies

R.A. Benfer Jr., University of Missouri-Columbia

R.A. Benfer Jr, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, USA.

Lucio Laura, Museo de Antropolgía, La Molina

Lucio Laura, Museo de Antropolgía, Agricultura Andina, Biodiversidad y Alimentación, Universidad Nacional Agraria – La Molina Perú.


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How to Cite

Benfer Jr., R., & Laura, L. (2020). A Stone Pillar of a Condor Marked the Equinox at the Site of Buena Vista, Peru at 2200 BC. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 5(2), 123–150. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsa.40025