Twenty miles south of
, Lima, Peru
Pan American Highway,
are the ruins of the ancient city of
Built around 200 A.D. it is one of the largest pre-Inca sites in
The location contains several pyramids and was an important religious monument to the people of the central
Late in July of 2007, DH and I traveled with a group to view this ancient city.
was built by the Ishmay culture around 1100 A.D. The base is constructed of six large steps. The temple was built on the top of these walls. The pyramid is reached by a large ramp from the main square. Pyramidal Sun Temple
There are several layers of different types of construction. Some are large mud bricks in stacks;
some are stones and with mortar and some are made of small adobe bricks.
There were rooms and ramps and walls covering a large area on sand hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Following the expansion of the Inca Empire, Pachacamac became an important Inca administrative center, while maintaining its status as a religious shrine. The Spanish conqueror, Francisco Pizarro, heard about Pachacamac from the Inca, while holding the Inca King Atahualpa prisoner at Cajamarca in 1532. He promptly sent an expedition to sack the city. They destroyed sacred shrines and seized a large amount of silver and gold from the site.
Spanish accounts indicate Pachacamac was one of the holiest place of worship in the central
DH and I discovered a hand print left in one of the ancient bricks. I put my hand in the impression.
It was an exact fit.
At one time this place received enough water and rain to support a huge population, but a shift in weather patterns left it so dry that it was abandoned.
See http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Pachacam.html for more information.
On a side note: Five days after we returned from this area -- August 15, 2007, it was hit by a magnitude 8 earthquake. The epicenter was not far from this city built on sand. Hundreds of people were buried in nearby towns in the rubble caused by the quake.