The Pyramid of the Moon

The New Temple

Between 550 and 600 AD, the Old Temple was abandoned. What motivated the Moche to leave this sacred space? It is known that during this time a series of droughts and floods occurred, an El Niño event of apocalyptic features that tested the effectiveness of the priests. Despite the rituals, the human sacrifices and the other offerings, the wrath of the Mountain God was not appeased ... or perhaps the god abandoned the people. The priests were no longer seen as gods or their intermediaries. The age of the demigod warrior-priests had come to an end, and the inhabitants of the city began to assume political and economic power.

The New Temple tells us this part of the story, a tale of chaos and change. Its construction, beside the old abandoned temple, does not have the monumentality of its predecessor. On its walls the Mountain God or the devil are no longer seen, but there are traces of geometric patterns, of weavers, and of animated objects, some fighting against men. This last theme is a discourse that leads us to think of the chaos that precedes the balance necessary to make the change that the society required. Thus began a new era of secular rulers, with a church subjugated to its authority.  This society found success in the culture of the children of the Moche, called the Chimu, who built the city of Chan Chan, approximately 12 miles away. But that's another story.

Designed by
This website has been produced thanks to financing from:
Fondoempleo - Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon Archaeological Project - National University of Trujillo - Pyramids of the Moche Valley Board
Translation: Elizabeth Pratt
Jr. San Martín 380, Trujillo Perú. Telefax (51-44) 221269
March 2011