RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Geological diary: Old Callao / Examined site / extensive - ruins. CUL-DAR37.709-710 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe 10.2012-3.2013. RN1

NOTE: This document, part of the largest scientific document composed by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, is written mostly in ink. Where pencil was used instead this is noted in the textual notes. Marginal notes are here integrated into the text. See the Beagle diary, pp. 350-1.

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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

See the introduction to the Geological Diary by Gordon Chancellor.



Examined site of old Callao. extensive. — ruins far more complicated than Talcuana. — more foundations & loose masses of brick work: covered with shingle, partly worked.

It is clear that [illeg] form of land has changed, since the town was built; no evidence of subsidence, but now the land is certainly on the lowest level possible so as not to be flooded, protected by immense shingle beach through which water oozes at high water, & this part is level with plain: The sea has encroached on each side of town. little cliff on harbor side dividing foundations on seaward side standing in margin of shingle beach. — The site must have been broarder. — Ruins are seen beneath water. Mr Gill thinks only masses washed by reflux. — Certainly I saw many masses from 3 to 4 ft cubed, distant from building & apparently carried by reflux of wave. — They called to my mind fragments on plain of Patagonia. —

709 verso

Vaults of dead. — [Rodit]. — 12000 destroyed, destruction of castle, little fort peppered brands. — new graves probably directly shot. — Awful spectacle. — Starvation & executions.


The fact that each side is encroached on & that central parts are on the very lowest possible level. — certainly favors idea of depression. — (Fronton & Lorenzo joined in Frezier. — No). Sea encroached on land even in that authors day.

See South America, p. 51 and the Galapagos notebook, p. 12a. Fr├ęzier 1717.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 1 April, 2013