Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trip to Peru-Ruins of Pachacamac

Before beginning our day we decided that if it would be sunny we would go and check out some ruins near where we are staying.  We were told by the owners of this conference center that it was best to go on a sunny day.  Since it is cloudy or foggy 80% of the time we decided that the next time the sun would come out we would go, whether it would be today, tomorrow or the day after.  Being a small group we have moved along quite quickly and are well ahead of schedule.  We spent most of the day working since it was cloudy.  However, after lunch the sun came out so we decided to work a few more hours and then go see the ruins.  For myself having an interest in history and archaeology it was an interesting trip and well worth seeing, that is if you like this kind of thing.  The ruins are called Pachacamac which is also the name of this area and the name of the creator god that the people worshiped here.  For many centuries from 200AD till the time of the Spanish conquest in 1533AD Pachacamac was one of the most important religious centers of the Inca and pre-Inca world.  People during that time traveled from all over to pay homage and bring presents to their deity Pachacamac.  They sacrificed to him since he was not only a god who created things and could provide good things, but also a god who could destroy and take away.  However, the Spaniards in virtually no time  at all destroyed the worship of this god when they entered the temple, took the idol which was merely a pole with carvings on it and showed it to the people.  The people expected their god to act and destroy the Spaniards for what they had done, but nothing happened.  As a result, in the eyes of the people the god of the Spaniards was superior and soon afterward people stopped worshiping this deity and Pachacamac ceased to be important and soon was abandoned.  Most of the archaeological site has not been studied yet. Today archaeologists continue to work on the site which continues to provide new clues and evidence to better understand this site.  Archaeologists also continue to unearth graves where important people were buried.  Again, for myself it was very interesting to see a part of history.  What was also interesting was learning how the snake or serpent plays a role in the stories of Pachacamac as well like he does in the Biblical narrative.  One of the funny comments that one in the group made was, "esta serpiente se ha metido en todo" (that serpent has put himself in everything).    This reminds me of the book by Don Richardson "Eternity in their Hearts", which shows how all the ancient cultures of the world have some knowledge of God and the things of the Bible.  God has put eternity "in their hearts".  Obviously what they have is not sufficient for salvation and that is why God calls us even today to go out and spread His Word so that others will come to know the True and Living Creator.