ultramarinus – beyond the sea

DAY 45 (2 OF 2) – MUSEUMS AND PLAZA, SALTA, ARGENTINA

Leaving Tilcara and the Quebrada de Humahuaca behind, we headed south to Salta, one of the most visited cities in Northern Argentina.  Renowned for its beautiful plaza and churches, Salta has in fact quite a small town feeling.  After a quick lunch, we made our way to the main plaza to visit the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña (MAAM).  Small in scale, the MAAM is dedicated entirely to the three child mummies (aged from 6 to 15) found on the summit of Volcán Llullaillaco in 1999.  At over 6,700m, the burial site of the mummies is considered to be one of the highest archaeological sites in the world.  Although small, the collection, which includes the treasure trove of each mummy and the three mummies themselves, was quite impressive.  Due to conservation, only one of the three mummies would be on display at a time.  During our visit, we saw the “Lightening Girl”.  Aged about 6 years old when buried, the “Lightening Girl” was stuck by lightening sometime in the past centuries, leaving a burnt mark on her face and clothing.  From the English descriptions, we were able to obtain a brief understanding of the traditions of human sacrifices during the Inca period at about 500 years ago.
After MAAM, we decided to visit Pajcha Museo de Arte Etnico Americano, a small museum described by the Lonely Planet as “an eye-opening private museum” and “a must-see if you’re interested in indigenous art and culture”.   The small collection of masks, textiles, artifacts, and garments from a number of Latin American countries was interesting, especially the way how artifacts were being displayed along with contemporary art and crafts to provide a sense of cultural continuity, but the mandatory guide tour was a little pushy at times.  In the evening, we headed back to the plaza and ended up having fast food for dinner.
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Read other posts on Northwest Argentina in 2013 South America:

Day 43.1 – Garganta del Diablo, Tilcara
Day 43.2 – Pucara, Tilcara
Day 44.1 – Hills of Seven Colours, Purmamarca
Day 44.2 – Cemetery, Purmamarca
Day 45.1 – Antigua Gusthouse, Tilcara
Day 45.2 – Museums and Plaza, Salta
Day 46.1 – Carpe Diem, Salta
Day 46.2 – Helados Miranda, Cafayate
Day 46.3 – Bodega el Porvenir, Cafayate
Day 47.1 – Bodega Domingo Molina, Cafayate
Day 47.2 – Quebrada Las Conchas, Cafayate
Day 48.1 – Museo de Vino, Cafayate
Day 48.2 – El Hornito, Cafayate
Day 48.3 – Goodbye Northern Argentina, Salta

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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