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 Location: Cordillera Blanca Mountains, Peru.  Grid Reference: 9� 35' 34" S, 77� 10' 42" W.


      Chavin de Hu�ntar: (Underground Citadel).

Capital of the Chav�n culture.

Chavin de Huntar, is a complex of steeply walled platforms, honeycombed with stone-lined passages and surrounding a sunken plaza. It is unique amongst Pre-Columbian temple groups. The principle edifice, called 'The Castillo' is faced with cut-stone blocks in courses of varying widths. The walls rose 17m, above a pedestal of cyclopean blocks. Inside the core are at least three irregular storeys of stone-lined galleries, chambers and ventilating shafts.

'El-Toro'/'Lanzon' (right), marked the exact centre of the underground stone-lined chambers. (20)

(Click here for map of the site)



   Chavin de Hu�ntar:

The complex was laid out according to a pre-conceived plan; an area of 300,000 sq. ft. was flattened and terraced in preparation and the whole site was aligned to the cardinal points.

A number of engraved obelisks, cyclopean masonry (i.e. a 30 ft long lintel), and a network of cut-rock tunnels highlight the unusual quality of the complex. Networks of subterranean tunnels cut from natural rock have been found at the site. (19)

The Underground tunnels.


Article: (Discovery News 2010):

Scientists analyse 3,000 year old Conch Shell.

'Archaeologists unearthed 20 complete Strombus galeatus marine shell trumpets in 2001 at Chav�n de Hu�ntar, an ancient ceremonial centre in the Andes. Polished, painted and etched with symbols, the shells had well-formed mouthpieces and distinct V-shaped cuts.

If the shells were played inside the stone chamber in which they were found, the drone would have sounded like it was coming from several different directions at once. In the dimly lit religious centre, it would have created a sense of confusion'.

(Other Examples of Accoustic Phenomena)




This incredible obelisk, called 'El-Toro' (the Bull), or 'Lanzon' (the Lance), was originally situated in the very centre, deep in the underground catacombs at Chavin de Huantar. The top of it, at 4.5m,  protruded through the ceiling, and the floor above.


The Lanzon is presumed to have been the primary deity of the Chavin culture.

The Jaguar-god inlaid into a wall (Similar in style to the heads at Tiahuanaco)


The main temple (A) and Portillo were decimated through 19th century looting. The site is now a world heritage site and is under restoration and conservation.

(Left) Carved human bones, (Right) Jaguar panel from circular Plaza.

The remains of El-Castillo.

Close-up of the grand portal to El-Castillo.



Chavin De Huantar is officially dated at approximately 800 BC. The Chav�n culture dates to around 1000 B.C. (if not earlier), a period called the Early Horizon. (1) The complex is divided into two clear phases; The 'Old' and the 'New'. The 'Old' phase is dated at around 900 BC, and the 'New' temples, built over the old are dated at around 500 BC.


(Other Peruvian sites)



1). http://www.stanford.edu/~johnrick/chavin_wrap/chavin/opening2.html
19). Z. Sitchin. The Lost Realms. Avon books. 1990.
20). G. Kubler. The Art and Architecture of Ancient America. Penguin books. 1962.


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