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Not to be confused with Pacha Kamaq.
Templos del Sol Viejo Pintado.jpg
View of Pachacamac
Pachacamac is located in Peru
Shown within Peru
Location Lima, Lima Region, Peru
Coordinates 12°15′24″S 76°54′01″W / 12.25667°S 76.90028°W / -12.25667; -76.90028Coordinates: 12°15′24″S 76°54′01″W / 12.25667°S 76.90028°W / -12.25667; -76.90028
Periods Middle Horizon, Late Intermediate, Late Horizon
Cultures Huari, Lima, Inca Empire

The temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire.

To date, several pyramids have been uncovered; archaeologists have identified at least 17 pyramids (many of them irreversibly damaged by the El Niño weather phenomenon). Besides pyramids, the site had a cemetery and multicolored fresco of fish from the Early Intermediate period (c. 200-600 CE). Later, the Huari (c. 600-800 CE) constructed the city, probably using it as an administrative center. A number of Huari-influenced designs appear on the structures and on the ceramics and textiles found in the cemeteries of this period. After the collapse of the Huari empire, Pachacamac continued to grow as a religious center. The majority of the common architecture and temples were built during this stage (c. 800-1450 CE).

By the time the Tawantinsuyu (Inca Confederacy) invaded the area, the valleys of the Rímac and Lurín had a small state which the people called Ichma., They used Pachacamac primarily as a religious site for the veneration of the Pacha Kamaq, the creator god. The Ichma joined the Incan Empire, which used Pachacamac as an important administrative center. The Inca maintained it as a religious shrine and allowed the Pachacamac priests to continue functioning independently of the Inca priesthood. This included the oracle, whom the Inca presumably consulted. The Inca built five additional buildings, including a temple to the sun on the main square.

Pacha Kaman God[edit]

Pacha Kamaq ('Earth-Maker') was considered the creator god by the people who lived in this part of Peru before the Inca conquest. The Inca took him into their pantheon,[1]:187 but considered him a lesser rival of Viracocha, their creator god.

The myths that survive of Pacha Kamaq are sparse and confused: some accounts, for example, identify him as Manco Cápac's cowardly brother Ayca, while others say that he, Manco Cápac and Viracocha were the sole three sons of Inti, the sun god. Another story says that he made the first man and the first woman, but forgot to give them food – and when the man died and the woman prayed over Pachacamac's head to his father Inti to make her the mother of all the peoples of earth, Pachacamac was furious. One by one, as the children were born, he tried to kill them – only to be beaten and to be thrown into the sea by her hero-son Wichama, after which he gave up the struggle and contented himself by becoming the supreme god of fish.

First Spanish Visit[edit]

After the Battle of Cajamarca, Francisco Pizarro sent his brother Hernando Pizarro, and fourteen horsemen, to Pachacamac to collect its gold riches. According to Cieza, the priests learned of the Spanish defilement of the Cuzco temple, and "ordered the virgin mamaconas to leave the Temple of the Sun from where - as well as from the Temple of Pachacamac - they say they removed more than four hundred cargas of gold. They hid it in secret places, and it has not appeared to this day, nor will it appear, except by chance, because all those who knew about it and hid it, as well as those ordered it, are dead." Hernando departed Cajamarca on 5 Jan. 1533, and returned on 14 April 1533, after defiling the temple. On the return trip through the Jauja Valley, Hernando received the surrender of Chalcuchimac.[2]:237-237

"In a few years the walls of the temple were pulled down by the Spanish settlers, who found there a convenient quarry for their own edifices."[1]:189

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Publishing, ISBN 9781420941142
  2. ^ Leon, P., 1998, The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Chronicles of the New World Encounter, edited and translated by Cook and Cook, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 9780822321460


  • Mcleish, K. (1996) Myths and Legends of the World, The Complete Companion to all Traditions, Blitz, United Kingdom.[page needed]

External links[edit]