Pre Inca Empire, the temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. The name comes from Pacha Kamaq (earth maker). Most of the buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE. This site is very close to the city of Lima, and it is quite impressive, mostly the temple of the Sun, with stunning views of the coast of Lima, and temple of the Moon located opposite.
They used Pachacamac primarily as a religious site for the veneration of the Pacha Kamaq, the creator god. Limas were the first settlers, followed by the Huaris, and finally the Ichmas and then overtaken by the Inca Empire. 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.
The Temple of the Moon is where they used to host many young women (8 to 10 years old) whom were brought to Pachacamac and stayed in the Temple of the Moon or Mamacona. There, widow women would teach the young women how to take care of men and to sew, keep house, and perform other womanly duties.
Natives from all over the Americas would make the pilgrimage and bring gifts to Pachacamac. They would spend weeks purifying themselves on common grounds, on special diets that would not contain any red pepper or salt (very common preservatives on these times), then to be able and worthy to access to the Temple of the Sun. But hey… this is male access only.
It was a high honor and only high rank, nobles or priests were allowed to go to the Temple of the Sun, the highest structure at Pachacamac. The Temple of the Sun represented the male entity and the Temple of the Moon the Female. The balance, the yin and yang. Women were only allowed to the this temple to be sacrificed. It was said that the head priest each year would bring three new women to Pachacamac. Teach them the arts of serving a man and also a special training. One of them will be chosen to be sacrificed. The other two would remain as wife or concubine. There was no sex involved, since all head priests were eunuch.
With the help of private funding and Universities from around the World, Pachacamac is still an on work site. Everyday new discoveries and findings. Battling to remain isolated and protected from and on growing Lima. As I said before the views from the top of the Temple of the Sun are just spectacular, and the best is that nowadays, both men and women can enjoy them…. without the extra sacrifice ha ha ha … Pachacamac, a great way to begin your journey to the Inca Empire, in Lima, to be complemented if you have time with a visit to the Larco Museum.
Read the full story at the Carlos Melia Blog!