• 23 Nov. 2012 – 10 March 2013

    Chavín – Perus geheimnisvoller Anden-Tempel

    Kopf-Skulptur vom Tempel von Chavín de Huántar, Museo Nacional Chavín


    In the narrow valley of Callejón de Conchucos, behind the snow-covered mountains of the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian highlands, lie the ruins of the ceremonial centre of Chavín de Huántar. In Peru everybody knows the 3,000-year-old building complex; here, very few have ever heard of it.

    At least 2,500 years before the Inca, on a site exposed to the full force of the elements, people erected a monumental temple, a task that would have involved vast expenditure and enormous labour. With great skill, they shaped the hard stone and decorated the buildings with huge reliefs and mysterious sculptures. They diverted mountain torrents, constructed canals and merged two separate streams. By opening and closing sluices on the canals they created a thunderous, mystical, roaring noise in the temple interior, and they diverted sunlight deep into the subterranean chambers and galleries – one has to be close to the gods to undertake such extraordinary feats.

    It seems that the new elite, most probably a priestly caste, used these overwhelming spectacles to win the loyalty of the most powerful figures in different regions, and it is likely that competing centres spurred each other on to impress their people with ever more dramatic performances. Privileged followers probably made pilgrimages to the temple at specific times. In the theatrically conceived and designed ceremonial centre, a new worldview and a new system of meaning were created and communicated – the foundations of the earliest complex form of society in the central Andes.


    “El templo que habla” (Articulo SOMOS)

    “De Dioses y Trombones” (Caretas)



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