Ancient civilizations around Trujillo
El Brujo Archeological Complex
El Brujo consists of three different structures (huaca), with one that is especially impressive for its mural reliefs.
The complex was mainly used from A.D. 100 to 700 by the Moche culture, but traces of human presence extending over a period of 5,000 years have also been discovered.
Chan Chan Archeological Complex
Chan Chan was built around A.D. 1300 and extends over an area of 20 km2. It is the largest pre-Columbian city of all the Americas, and also the largest city built from adobe bricks.
At its peak, the city from the Chimú culture must have housed around 60,000 people. Its vast wealth of gold, silver, and ceramics had not been pillaged even after the arrival of the Incas. However, after the coming of the Spanish, everything made of gold disappeared along with all the artefacts of value.
Nowadays, a large part of the complex is gone due to the ravage of time, or pillaging. Part of it has even been swallowed by the city of Trujillo. The site is still impressive.
The part that can still be visited is, to a large extent, restored and protected from rains by steel structures. Even though the site is many centuries old, its protection is very recent. When I visited, some 15 years ago, there were no protective roofs against bad weather.
This part of the Chan Chan complex is not normally open to the public. I arrived very early and I took the wrong road. Thus, I went through some gates that were not locked, and I ended up at this place where research is still going on.
Here, there are no protective structures, and excavation is still going on. It gives an idea of the work done by archeologists.
Temple from the Chimú culture.
Huaca Arco Iris
Also known under the name Huaca del Dragón, this 12th century-old Chimú temple is located in the middle of the city.
It is one of the best preserved temples due to the simple fact that it was covered by sand until 1960.
Huacas del Sol y de la Luna
The temples of the Sun and of the Moon are at least 700 years older than the Chan Chan complex. They were built by the Moche culture.
Huaca del Sol
The temple, with nearly a third of it destroyed by erosion, was built with an estimated 140 million adobe brick. The name Temple of the Sun or of the Moon where coined by the Spanish, but archeologists think that the Moche culture that built them, never worshipped the sun or the moon. In fact, for the Spanish, all the cultures they met, was thought of as Incas.
The Moche Culture vanished more than 1,300 years ago without leaving any writing, consequently; it is impossible to know the real name that these two temples.
Huaca de la Luna
The Huaca de la Luna was built over a period of 600 years. Six generations modified the structure by adding subsequent layers of adobe bricks, hiding the one from the previous generations.
This temple contains impressive mural reliefs.