With the Sun, the Moon and the Stars: Archaeoastronomy in Pachacamac

Main archaeoastronomic findings in the Sanctuary:

1) The walls of Temples, plazas and roads of the Sanctuary signal towards the position, on the horizon, reached by the Sun, the Moon and some Stars in important moments for the organization of social, ritual and agricultural activities, throughout the four seasons of the year.

2) The landscape where the Sanctuary stands presents geographical landmarks, which are useful for astronomical observations of: the Milky Way (Southern Cross), the Winter Solstice and the geographical South Pole. These are complementary of the Sanctuary’s temples orientation.

3) The Incas of Pachacuti did not solarize the Sanctuary: Pre-Inca temples already pointed to the Sun, and the Punchaukancha (The Sun Temple) has only one solar outer wall, and it seems to be Pre-Inca. This wall was of common use and access (of political concern). The inner Inca walls of the temple point towards the Amaru Constellation (Scorpio): the Great Celestial Serpent, these are of restricted use and access (of mythical concern).

4) The Incas did remark the Moon in the Sanctuary: they built the Aqllawasi (House of the chosen women) and the Plaza of the Moon, (mistakenly named “the Pilgrims’ Plaza”) aligned towards this celestial body. These buildings show us their reverance to the Moon and the importance assigned to women within their society.

-Alfio Pinasco Carella (Arch.)

terraza solsticial-1 copy



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