Moche civilization and human sacrifice (Peru)
Peru means Inca civilization, of course.
But there were many other civilizations pre Inca.
One of the most interesting is, for me, the Moche civilization (100-800 AD) period before the Chimu in the region of Trujillo.
Their social organization was based on religion and for that they were the architects of two monumental buildings: two temples, called “moon” and “sun” by the first Spanish conquerors, believing that the both temples were constructed by Incas in honor of its two main gods.
The city was located between the two temples. Only the temple of the Moon is visited.
A team of archaeologist led excavations, constantly discovering new treasures. We can also see them at work which adds interest to visitors.
We can discover in this temple many polychrome relief, symbols, paintings, among other things, how the Moche captured and sacrificed their victims after they tied, they chopped off their neck with a knife to drink their blood…
This civilization practiced human sacrifice and it was rather bloody.
On this site you can discover many impressive murals which let us imagine the practices of that time.
It seems that the Moche had a high level of cultural and artistic production, ceramic and metallurgy, so as barbaric because the temple has a place for the human sacrifices at the foot of the mountain adjacent to the temple.
The ‘Huaca’ of the Moon is composed of three platforms and four ceremonial places. We have discovered seven levels (pyramid type) which is a superposition of five temples, built in about 600 years, everyone was dedicated prior to the boss, when the latter died, a new temple was built over the old.
This was possibly associated to the ceremonial calendar. In the old building was built the burial chambers to bury the priests.
At the first level, we can observe the warriors carrying their weapons and with the help of a rope pulled the naked prisoners.
The second level represents dancers or officers dressed in red tunics.
The third level is about the giant spiders that carry the ‘tumi’ ceremonial knives.
The fourth level is of the warriors who have in his right hand a fish spear.
The fifth level is just above a long snake.
And finally in the very last level, the seventh oldest in the series, it represented the god Am Apaec, decapitator who has in his left hand a knife and in his left hand a head of a sacrificed. At his hip, we can see a belt of serpents that ends with a condor heads.
Also, around a rock formation have been discovered many skeletons of sacrificed warriors.
The most impressive is that all the human bones accounted have traces of cuts as if they had mutilated the body…
Human sacrifices were ordained by the agricultural seasons, and weather phenomena like El Niño, to reconcile the elements and deities associates, near the Pantheon Andean. The Power of the elites was legitimized by these rituals.
Despite these many sacrifices, he civilization collapsed in the wake of a cataclysmic climate…