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PACHACAMAC (Lima Peru)

The temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurin River. It had at least one pyramid, cemetery and multicolored fresco of fish by the Early Intermediate period (c. 200-600 CE). Later, the Huari (c. 600-800 CE) sponsored construction of the city, probably using it as an administrative center. A number of Huari influenced designs appear on the construction in this period and on the ceramics and textiles found in the cemeteries of this period. After the collapse of the Huari empire Pachacamac continued to grow as a religious state. The majority of the common architecture and temples were built at this stage (c. 800-1450 CE).

By the time the Tawantinsuyu arrived on the scene, the valleys of the Rimac and Lurin had a small state they called Ichma and they used Pachacamac as primarily a religious site for the veneration of the Pacha Kamaq creator god. The Ichma joined the Inca empire and Pachacamac became an important administrative center. However the Inca maintained it as a religious shrine and allowed the Pachacamac priests to continue functioning independently of the Inca priesthood. This included the oracle, whom the Inca presumably consulted. The Inca built five additional buildings, including a temple to the Sun on the main square

Pacha Kamaq ('Earth-Maker') was considered the creator god by the peoples who lived in Peru before the Inca conquest. He was taken into the Inca pantheon, but somewhat reluctantly, being seen mainly as an ineffective rival of Viracocha.

His myths are sparse and confused: some accounts, for example, identify him as Manco Capac's cowardly brother Ayca, while others say that he, Manco Capac and Viracocha were the sole three sons of Inti the sun god. Another story says that he made the first man and the first woman, but forgot to give them food and when the man died and the woman prayed over Pachacamac's head to his father Inti to make her the mother of all the peoples of earth, Pachacamac was furious. One by one, as the children were born, he tried to kill them only to be beaten and to be thrown into the sea by her hero-son Wichama, after which he gave up the struggle and contented himself by becoming the supreme god of fish.

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