Cal Orck'o: Footprints of time

Date of Submission: 01/07/2003
Criteria: (viii)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Viceministerio de Cultura, Ministerio de Desarrollo EconómicoPalacio ChicoPotosí esq. Ayacuc
Coordinates: 19º05' S / 65º10' W
Ref.: 1816

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We transcribe Klaus Schutt’s text: “A visit to the paleonthological bed surrounding Sucre takes us back in time to the dawn of life on the planet. Impressive rocks, deep canyons, sacred mountains and cheerful waterfalls of crystalline water characterize the zones in which we find fascinating Paleolithic remains: the oldest footprints on the face of the earth. [...] Approximately 68 million years ago, an enormous volcanic eruption threw millions of cubic meters of ash into space. This matter, upon falling onto the footprints, which were still fresh, covered them with a thick layer that protected them from eolic and pluvial erosion, that would have otherwise erased them in a matter of hours. Later, subsequent ash deposits and sedimentary material carried by the rivers that flowed into the lake began creating additional sedimentary layers that turned into rock due to the pressure that was exerted on them through millions of years.”

The dinosaur tracks of the Cal Orck’o paleonthological bed date from 68 million years ago and belong to the upper cretaceous period, a time in which the majority of dinosaurs lived; soon before their extinction from the face of the earth, which was registered around 65 million years ago.