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Site of Túcume 02.jpg
General view of the site
Túcume is located in Peru
Shown within Peru
Alternate name Purgatorio
Region Mochumi, Lambayeque Province, Lambayeque Region, Peru
Coordinates 06°30′57″S 79°50′39″W / 6.51583°S 79.84417°W / -6.51583; -79.84417Coordinates: 06°30′57″S 79°50′39″W / 6.51583°S 79.84417°W / -6.51583; -79.84417
Type Settlement
Area 2.185 km2 (0.844 sq mi)
Founded 800
Abandoned 1532
Periods Middle Horizon to Late Horizon
Cultures Sican, Chimú, Inca

Túcume is a pre-Hispanic site in Peru, south of the La Leche River on a plain around La Raya Mountain. It covers an area of over 540 acres (220 ha) and encompassing 26 major pyramids and mounds.[1] The area is referred to as Purgatorio (purgatory) by local people.

The Túcume mounds

This site was a major regional center, maybe even the capital of the successive occupations of the area by the Lambayeque/Sican (800-1350 AD), Chimú (1350–1450 AD) and Inca (1450–1532 AD). Local shaman healers (curanderos) invoke power of Tucume and La Raya Mountain in their rituals, and local people fear these sites. Hardly anyone other than healers venture out in this site at night.

The vast plains of Túcume are part of the Lambayeque region, the largest valley of the north coast of Peru. The Lambayeque Valley is the site of scores of natural and man-made waterways and is also a region of about 250 decaying brick pyramids.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shimada, Izumi. "The Late Prehispanic Coastal States." In The Inca World: The Development of Pre-Columbian Peru, edited by L. Laurencich Minelli, pp.49-82. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000

External links[edit]