In 1998, the Toro Muerto site was delimited within a 50 sq km training/testing ground (the red line in the photos), an area that was identified by the then National Institute of Culture of Peru (INC) in its plan to put the site on the National Heritage List (which was achieved in 2002). To do this, the employees of this institution had to carry out surveys, defining and choosing a series of points for the construction of signposts and panels (still present) in order to generate geodesic marks.
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the Toro Muerto Archaeological Project, managed by Karolina Juszczyk and Abraham Imbertis, led to the first stage of recognition of the location of the points installed by the INC-A to make
a new geodesic grid and document the site area, using a Total Station.
In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the Toro Muerto Archaeological Research Project, using state-of-the-art measuring equipment based on the RTK GPS measurement technology, set up a new surveying grid throughout the site. This task was carried out by Abraham Imbertis and Lesly Tapia from Arqueomática SAC, who cooperate with the project team on a regular basis. The grid is linked to the official point ‘C’ established by the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the nearby village of La Candelaria, which is located at the foot of a huge archaeological complex.
After obtaining precise information from IGN on the current location of point ‘C’, seven main surveying points could be determined at the site, on which the new measurement grid was based. The grid was later used for both excavations and drone raids in order to obtain a precise orthophotomap of the site.
The grid was also used to determine the exact location of individual rock blocks with petroglyphs and to divide the site into sectors. It was also necessary to create (on the basis of aerial photographs taken by the drones) a three-dimensional terrain model of the site.
The creation of a new geodesic grid was a prerequisite for the elaboration of a detailed orthophotomap of the entire surveyed part of the site. It was based on several thousand aerial photographs which covered an area of about
10 sq km. Thanks to the cooperation established with the National Geographical Institute of Peru, this task was performed by a specialist team of cartographers – led by Major Fabian Brondi Rueda – who had advanced technical equipment and software necessary to carry out this challenging project at its disposal.
Photogrammetric photographs of the site were taken using the Abox 6 hexacopter, designed and manufactured by the Peruvian company Robotic Air Systems. The work consisted of three stages: a phase of reconnaissance flights, a series of photographic flights and office processing of the collected data.
Currently, the Project has a detailed orthophotomap of the most important, central part of the site, coordinates of all located rock blocks covered with petroglyphs (about 2,600 rocks), as well as a digital, three-dimensional model of the terrain which can be used for spatial analyses.