Moche RoutePowerful Sand Kingdoms
The archaeological richness in the north of Peru has canalized a fluent tourist current with the aim of letting know the monumental and artistic richness of other cultures different from the Inca, the ones which settled down in this area of the country. It is true that the referent of the Moche Route is being implemented successfully in this region, it is also valuable the Cloudy Wood, which was the ecological place, chosen by Chachapoyas prehispanic society to establish their domains by the year 1000 a.C.
There, recent works on the monumental architecture are preparing the conditions to become a new pole of tourist attraction in the archaeological field. For this reason, it is interesting to intertwine the existing routes, to offer them to the thousands of tourists that arrive in this region.
All the splendor and richness of this civilization is present in this archaeological tour that selects Moche culture's principal height sites, the one which was developed from 100 b.C. to 300 a.C. This period corresponds to the Regional Developments in the Andes. It is amazing the funerary evidences of great complexity and ritualism and the representations of embossed friezes of gods and the Moche governors' special scenes.
In this route, we can find important places such as the Tumbas Reales de Sipán Museum, Huaca Rajada, Pampa Grande, Huacas del Sol y de la Luna, El Brujo Complex and San José de Moro.
The Moche Route program is an initiative of the Fundación Backus, its main goal is to promote the research, conservation and public use of the cultural and archaeological patrimony in the northern coast of Peru, to generate more frequent tourist activities and to complement the ones in the south, which have become more and more common.
The Mochica kingdom spread along the current departments of Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Ancash in the northern coast of Peru. It is precisely in this geographical area that the Moche Route is currently being implemented, its central activities are the archaeological research and tourist management of the Huaca de la Luna, in charge of the Social Sciences Faculty of Universidad Nacional de Trujillo and the Moche Valley Temples Patrons Society.
The Moche Route program does not promote tourism in all the Mochica archaeological monuments, only in those where there is currently an investigation project such as Túcume, the Brüning Museum and the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum (in Chiclayo - Lambayeque); San José de Moro, El Brujo complex and the Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna (in Trujillo - La Libertad).
In Túcume, the department of Lambayeque, tourists will find the remains of a great truncated Mochica pyramid and a very didactic site museum directed by the archaeologist Alfredo Narváez. Nearby, in the city of Lambayeque, the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum, directed by the archaeologist Walter Alva, displays the original jewelry and the remains of the Señor de Sipán (Lord of Sipán).
In the department of La Libertad, besides the Huaca de la Luna, directed by archaeologist Santiago Uceda and restorer Ricardo Morales, tourists can visit San José de Moro, where they will find an interesting historical sequence, because the researchers led by archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo found, remains that have supplied information about the transition period in this site: the moment when the fall of the Mochica kingdom started and the rise of Lambayeque culture began.
In El Brujo, a research project led by archaeologists Régulo Franco, César Gálvez and Segundo Vásquez, the visitor will find an archaeological complex delimitated by the sea and surrounded by farming fields. A large historical sequence is presented here, because its first inhabitants were the men of Huaca Prieta (some 5,000 years ago). Then the Mochicas built three big temples there, usually called huacas, outstanding for its beautiful mural paintings and after the fall of the Moche kingdom, the site was occupied successively by the people from Lambayeque and Chimú cultures and later by the mestizos from colonial times and the fishermen from the beginning of the Republican years.
Those adventurous enough to follow the Moche Route will be able to enjoy the beauty of other places with cultural interest, for instance, other archaeological and historical sites built after the fall of the Mochica on their territory, such as Chan Chan, which corresponds to Chimú culture (IX and XV a.C.), the historical downtown in Trujillo and northern beaches like Santa Rosa and Pimentel (Chiclayo - Lambayeque), Huanchaco and Las Delicias (Trujillo - La Libertad).
The Moche Route Program will expand when new archaeological research projects in other Mochica monuments begin.
Archaeological E-Guides of Peru
Recommended Links in National Geographic
- Mummy of Tattooed Woman - The Lady of Cao
- Mystery of mummy - The Lady of Cao
- Moche Burials Uncovered
- Tomb of "Giants" Unearthed in Peru
- Ancient Peru Torture Deaths: Sacrifices or War Crimes?
- Moche Murder Mysteries
- Peruvian Temple of Doom