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The City at Its LimitsTaboo, Transgression, and Urban Renewal in Lima$
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Daniella Gandolfo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226280974

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226280998.001.0001

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(p.128) {FIVE} Filth
The City at Its Limits
University of Chicago Press

For more than 150 years, the Cementerio General was Lima's main official burial ground, until it became saturated and closed down for new interments in 1965. In 1959, another necropolis, the Cementerio El Ángel, was built across the street from the Cementerio General on the grounds of a former hacienda, stretching over 200,000 square meters. In the last thirty years, an array of modern and luxurious cemeteries have sprung up on the edges of the expanding city in the form of tall, enclosed pavilions. The virtual lack of historiographic interest in Lima's changing relationship to its dead is striking in light of the central importance that burial grounds have had in the physical evolution and cultural life of the city. Overtaken by the forces that it once sought to contain—material corruption, moral filth, general licentiousness, and lack of scruples—J. Tamayo Herrera argues that, at the beginning of a new millennium, the ritual culture of death in Lima is on the verge of disappearing.

Keywords:   Cementerio General, Lima, moral filth, cemeteries, burial grounds, death, J. Tamayo Herrera, ritual culture, material corruption

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