1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lima (department)

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LIMA, a coast department of central Peru, bounded N. by Ancachs, E. by Junin and Huancavelica, S. by Ica and W. by the Pacific Ocean. Pop. (1906 estimate) 250,000; area 13,314 sq. m. The eastern boundary follows the crests of the Western Cordillera, which gives to the department the western slopes of this chain with the drainage basins of the rivers Huaura, Chancay, Chillon, Rimac, Lurin, Mala and Cañete. Although the department forms part of the rainless region, these rivers, fed from the snows of the high Andes, provide water for the irrigation of large areas devoted to the raising of cotton, sugar, sorghum, Indian corn, alfalfa, potatoes, grapes and olives. The sugar estates of the Cañete are among the best in Peru and are served by a narrow gauge railway terminating at the small port of Cerro Azul. Indian corn is grown in Chancay and other northern valleys, and is chiefly used, together with alfalfa and barley, in fattening swine for lard. The mineral resources are not important, though gold washings in the Cañete valley have been worked since early colonial times. One of the most important industrial establishments in the republic is the smelting works at Casapalca, on the Oroya railway, in the Rimac valley, which receives ores from neighbouring mines of the district of Huarochiri. The department is crossed from S.W. to N.E. by the Oroya railway, and several short lines run from the city of Lima to neighbouring towns. Besides Lima (q.v.) the principal towns are Huacho, Cañete (port), Canta, Yauyos, Chorrillos, Miraflores and Barranco—the last three being summer resorts for the people of the capital, with variable populations of 15,000, 6000 and 5000 respectively. About 15 m. S. of Lima, near the mouth of the Lurin, are the celebrated ruins of Pachacamac, which are believed to antedate the occupation of this region by the Incas.