Pyramids in Peru

A view from La Casa de la Logia Masónica balcony

On Saturday we took a day away from Trujillo to visit the Museo de las Tumbas de Sipán and Túcume, Valley of the Pyramids. #ibmcsc peru3

This involved getting up very early(!) as we had a 3 – 4 hour bus ride along the Pan Pacific Highway north to Chiclayo, where we picked up our excellent guide, Juan. The Pan Pacific Highway took us past fields of sugar cane, rice fields and then desert. It’s all desert along there so it’s amazing how they irrigate the land to grow the crops.

The desert.
The desert.
Some hills in the distance
Some hills in the distance

The Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan is well worth the ride. It’s a rather imposing concrete structure, and you’re not allowed any form of camera or mobile device inside, but once inside you’re taken on an amazing journey back in time to the Mochica period (200 – 600 AD). The Museum holds the artifacts found during the excavation of the tomb of Lord Sipán. The tomb, which is just south of Chiclayo, is one of the richest in South America and was only discovered in 1987. The great nobles of the time were buried in two large adobe pyramids, which today look like muddy hills. Perhaps this is why they weren’t plundered by the conquistadors and only one grave was destroyed by more recent grave robbers.

Museo de las Tumbas de Sipán
Museo de las Tumbas de Sipán
A picture from wiki.  It's such a shame I can't show you the amazing gold artifacts.
A picture from wiki. It’s such a shame I can’t show you the amazing gold artifacts.

The museum, which is a little north of Chiclayo, holds all the amazing gold, beading and ceramics that were found. It also shows the photos of how the tombs were found. It was amazing to see the transformation from a pile of rubble, with barely identifiable objects in gold and silver, to beautifully restored head pieces, breast plates, sacrificial knives, cups (one assumes for the blood), necklaces, nose pieces, huge ear pieces. These Lords, and Ladies, wore a lot of gold. The weight must have been incredible.

I’m not usually a museum kind of person, but our guide really brought the story to life. It was really interesting for me to see the similarities and differences in the artwork from North American Native American cultures.

A superb and obligatorily large lunch followed.

Beautiful flowers near the restaurant
Beautiful flowers near the restaurant
An interesting taxi
An interesting taxi

And then we went on to Túcume, where we could see more pyramids. There are 26 pyramids, all clustered around the sacred hill of El Purgatorio. This area was occupied by the Sican culture around 1100 AD. In the 14th century they were invaded first by the Chimu, then by the Inca. By the time the Spanish got there in the 16th century the place was already in ruins.

Our fantastic guide, Juan
Our fantastic guide, Juan
One of the pyramids
One of the pyramids
An ancient wall within the pyramids.
An ancient wall within the pyramids.

Doug, Hernando and I took advantage of finding a hill and decided to scramble to the top.

Looking up at  El Purgatorio
Looking up at El Purgatorio
Volcanic rock on El Purgatorio
Volcanic rock on El Purgatorio
Scrambling along the ridge in flip flops - ha ha
Scrambling along the ridge in flip flops – ha ha
Hernando, Laetitia and Doug
Hernando, Laetitia and Doug

After returning to the team we all decided we didn’t want to go to another museum, which was an option, but instead we decided to visit an old colonial house in Lambayeque, which has the longest balcony in Peru, over 400 years old, at La Casa de la Logia Masónica.

The central courtyard of La Casa de la Logia Masónica
The central courtyard of La Casa de la Logia Masónica
Stairs from the central courtyard of La Casa de la Logia Masónica
Stairs from the central courtyard of La Casa de la Logia Masónica
The balcony at La Casa de la Logia Masónica
The balcony at La Casa de la Logia Masónica
A view from La Casa de la Logia Masónica balcony
A view from La Casa de la Logia Masónica balcony
Architecture in Lambayeque
Architecture in Lambayeque

It was an amazing day out, and adventurous trip back in the dark with some pretty hair raising driving from our driver.

Series - Corporate Service Corps

  1. Corporate Service Corps – In the beginning I had a plan…
  2. CSC – From Application to Acceptance
  3. Team Peru 3: Final Week of Preparation
  4. Team Peru 3 meet in Trujillo
  5. Team Peru 3 get down to work – Cámara de Comercio y Producción de La Libertad
  6. Pyramids in Peru
  7. Trujillo Montage
  8. Team Peru 3 visit an Organic Farm
  9. A ‘Smarter Cities’ Community Day in Trujillo
  10. A cheeky weekend to Cajamarca
  11. Our time in Trujillo comes to an end…

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