Chavin de Huantar

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Chavin de Huantar is located in the Ancash region in Peru, 462 km from Lima and 3185 meters above sea level. Emerged around 1500 BCE. The pottery of Chavín can be found almost everywhere in Peru. Will not be the oldest archaeological site, nor the largest nor the most flamboyant, but it is considered as the center, such as Mecca, Jerusalem or Rome. He went to over thousands of years the center of pilgrimage in prehistoric Peru.


Chavín art is a crowded, open spaces and no representations are severe, rigid, symbolic and ferocious in their expression. The stones of the monuments are designed embossed or engraved.

Chavin de Huantar

Tableware and other domestic consumption did not differ from those used in temples for rituals, apart from a few select pieces.

Worship center

At its origin, Chavín was a center of worship and temples were sacred. Apparently, the site was carefully selected under strict criteria magical-religious because there are more productive valleys nearby, even considering the use of its slopes by rain-fed cultivation terraces.

The people of Chavín were a few priests and their assistants service, while most of its users were a sort of pilgrims who came to the place in search of "oracles", carrying offerings of various kinds, and may remain for long periods.

Chavin de Huantar

Political Organization

There are four types (male-female) of people: priests of the Chavín, pilgrims from various parts, with the rank of priests, artisans or specialists and ordinary people. The difference between men and women seem significant, even if the role that women played in the liturgy was very important, this could go so far as they might priestesses. In fact, almost all the holy people we know have a female version next to the male.

The priests were in charge of the temple, which was his place of work. There were facilities and people involved in the production of calendars, from where it derives its status as "oracle", which is the service they offered (the prediction of seasonal climate cycles per year).

Chavin de Huantar

The priests were observers of the sky thanks to this record could very accurately the movements of the sun in the east as in the west, the phases of the moon and the movement of the stars. That got fixed periods in time, which could link the seasonal cycles that are not fixed. Periods of drought or heavy rains, they have an expected annual rate, which was established from summer solstice (late December), are random in the start and intensity. Knowing in advance the characteristics of each cycle of rainfall is a task that requires expertise that is undoubtedly essential to drive the agricultural seasons each year. For that, you have to combine the stellar-solar calendar with other indicators of time, such as in the habits of animals. That was the task-specialized and apparently successful, the priests of Chavín.

Chavin de Huantar

Therefore, the status of a priest was very high in society chavinense. It is expressed in the set of attributes that are granted and which are physically very stylish and expensive clothing ornaments made of feathers, exotic stones, gold and jewels.

The members of the elite were distinguished by the use of crowns, earrings, necklaces and nose, items representing the category of those who use, in charge of worship "cat." This cult was visual, the cat god, probably a jaguar, was represented in frightening images, representing beliefs complex, linking the men to animals, and the members of different groups with each other.

Society had a hierarchical pyramid:

Chavin de Huantar

A head-priests were the leaders, those performing religious functions and at the same time ruled the people.

Then there were specialists who were craftsmen in stone and clay, metalwork, textiles and water engineers, to refine the techniques of irrigation to increase production of potatoes, corn, beans, peppers, etc.. These specialists were retained by the state.

inally were the peasants who worked the land using the techniques devised by engineers.


The emblematic sandeel monolithic five meters high, is a monstrous anthropomorphic figure and seems to represent a dwarf form with a grotesque head three times larger than its body, and shows enormous incisor teeth and tusks of a jaguar, or of Otorongo Puma, with feet shaped clawsChavin de Huantar and scepters in their hands. Ornaments on the head is composed of jaws with large fangs and snakes instead of hair. Suggests the representation of the ideal man, spiritual. In the drawings engraved in stone, there are many similar and overlapping elements representing the deity adored in their temples. This may be the image of a terrible God punishes, drinker of blood.

The best known is the monolith of Chavín, a Wanka, which in Quechua means stone of power and has a highly religious.

The monolith or Wanka Chavín meets all three elements of the trilogy cosmogony Chavín: eagle, snake and cat, (air, water and land) is, ferocious repressive deities that serve as sentinels and repels evil. Thus, air, water and land confirmed harmony with the cosmos that transpires around the legacy of Chavín.

A great enigmas are the countless waterfalls and aqueducts that existed at the site, creating a system of locks, one acoustic effect that is close to the roar of a giant jaguar frightening.

Power center

Chavin de Huantar

According to legend, Chavín could be raised in a place indicated by the magic, like Cusco or Machu Picchu.

The desire to dominate, to bring food production to the rate of increase in fixed and floating population, could be the role Chavín, using the effective use of agricultural methods, supported by a bombastic and ritual in worship to the powers that controlled the production, especially the God who depended Water rains as benefactors of the catastrophic drought that destroyed crops.


Only part of the architecture has been preserved because of its monumentality. The ceremonial center was this monumental core.

The temples have a number of platforms with a strong slope in the walls, with a pyramid profile. Were built in stages. El Castillo pyramid is higher and is called the Old Temple, whose most notable characteristic is that it has an interior passage which houses an idol of stone known as "Lanzón.

The castle has an extensive network of internal passages and chambers that form a complex built entirely of stone. In the interior of darkness, there are unusual burst of light that the strategic products that communicate with the outside world. Inside, everything is subject to marvel or awe. It is possible to hear clearly the voice of one person to many feet away as if our side.

Old Temple consists of a circular plaza at the entrance atrium serving. The new temple has a square. Each temple has a main gate. Entry into the new temple is called Portico of the Falcon, with engravings on the stones and is preceded by an atrium and a set of stairs that rises from the square, where there are only litoesculturas acting as the lintels, columns or stone with Engraved characters Chavín style.

Almost all its buildings and annexes were laboriously constructed with columns, cornices, lintels, headstones, obelisks and sculptures that were added to the walls or seats, becoming the ceremonial space in a beautiful setting, decorated with images of gods and demons that populated pantheon chavinense. Its materials were made of stones of different colors, coming from different places of the Peruvian Andes.

Neolithic Period

Chavín is the final period of the long process of domestication of plants and animals elsewhere identifies with the "Neolithic." At this time, both the arts of husbandry, such as those in agriculture and in construction, manufacturing and metallurgy were the social practice and the evidence of their high development.

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