IOTA Expedition will be active from Isla San Lorenzo IOTA SA-052 ARLHS PER-006 as OC0I
More information will be announced later
San Lorenzo has some archeological interest and includes artifacts of Incan and pre-Incan origin. It was used during the Battle of Callao as a burial place; its current under-use by the Peruvian Navy has led, in the first decades of the twenty-first century, to a new de facto status as an unlisted marine bioreserve, being the home to many creatures, notably scallops, seabirds, and sea lions.
The island never had permanent human occupation by their lack of freshwater sources. It was constantly visited by people of ancient Peru who used it as a cemetery. In fact in the mythology of ancient Peruvian central coast marine islands were related to the afterlife. The island was an important part in various stages of colonial Peruvian history, and for strengthening the independence of Peru and the Spanish-South American.
During colonial times, stones that were used to build various buildings like the old Presidio of Callao and the Royal Fortress Felipe were extracted from the quarries. It was also, eventually, home base for several English and Dutch pirates, as Francis Drake and Jacob Clerk, who raided the Callao. The latter died of plague along with some of his men and was buried on the island.
In 1866, in republican times, the Spanish Armada retreated to San Lorenzo after their defeat against the Peruvian forces in the Battle of Callao, on 2 May. There the Spanish repaired their ships and buried their dead before leaving the Peruvian coast.
Charles Darwin explored the island in 1835 looking at the geology and nature. Subsequently, between 1906 and 1907, Max Uhle made the first excavations at the southern tip of the island, finding metal objects and mummies in a pre-Hispanic cemetery in the Caleta de la Cruz, that corresponds to the end of Intermediate and Late Horizon (AD 900 to 1.532).
In 1912 the President Guillermo Billinghurst raised the proposal of building a dam with an island in Callao, an initial study being conducted by Dutch engineer J. Kraus in 1914. In 1958, the proposal was raised again by the Danish firm Christian & Nielsen, who put together a project that involved the transfer to the island to the fishing port and the creation of a new commercial port. The project did not materialize because of financial problems, lack of potable water and the impact that would have been caused on the island's wildlife.
In the first half of the 1990s, the naval base located on the island served as a temporary prison for the recently captured then leaders of the insurgent groups Shining Path and MRTA (Abimael Guzmán and Víctor Polay, respectively), as maximum security prisons were built for them.
In February 2010 the National Institute of Culture declared twenty existing archaeological monuments on the island "Cultural Patrimony of the Nation".
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