National Geographic : 1933 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE © Aerial Explorations, Inc. TRUJILLO STANDS WHERE THE CHIMUI CAPITAL, CHAN-CHAN, FLOURISHED Francisco Pizarro-named-this city for his birthplace. History reports something of the splendor that the conqueror' found' here-majestic palaces, homes of haughty chiefs to whom gold, great roomfuls of it, was nothing. filled with the ruins of a forgotten civili zation. Of the coastal ruins, next in importance to Chan-Chan are those of Pachacamac. Because they are only a few minutes' auto mobile ride from Lima, these ruins are perhaps better known than any others in Peru. They are the remains of the pre Inca temple of the Creator-God Pacha camac and the Inca Temple of the Sun. Here, also, were two villages where hun dreds of pilgrims from all over the Inca empire lived while visiting the shrines. PACHACAMAC AND TALES OF BURIED TREASURE Going in by automobile, we surveyed and measured the ruins, which we later mapped from an altitude of Io,ooo feet. Pachacamac is strangely impressive in its battered disdain of the centuries. Like Chan-Chan, it suffered heavily in flood years. Walls have crumbled and their colorful designs have been washed away. Generations of treasure-seekers have de spoiled the myriad graves; the ground is pockmarked with excavations; and skulls and skeletons lie bleaching in the sun. This ravaging of ancient ruins in quest of treasure is the curse of many lands. In Peru the Government has tried various means of prevention, with the unhappy effect that earnest archeologists may be hampered in their research, while unscru pulous treasure-hunters still work in secret. Yet some of the "finds" have been enough to turn any man's head. From Chan-Chan alone more than four millions of dollars' worth of silver and gold ornaments were removed by the Spaniards.