We visited some awe-inspiring ruins today, just outside the city of Trujillo on the coast. It’s one of Peru’s biggest cities and the ruins were fascinating. I finally got to put this song into context!
We were driven by our guide to some stunning desert temples to learn about the civilisation which built them. The Moche people lived 2,000 years ago in a society not dissimilar to that of the Ancient Egyptians. Ritual sacrifice, worship of the elements and an unnerving belief in the afterlife were all characteristic of this successful people.
Then it was off to the city of Chan Chan, which is recognised by UNESCO as the largest mud brick city in the world, at 24 km squared. The city flourished in the dry heat, existing for 500 years before it was destroyed by invaders and buried beneath layers of sand over time. Its people created beautiful line engravings in the sides of the sandy city walls, a staggering 12m high.
These civilisations believed in the worship of the natural world: tangible elements they could see, interpret, and appreciate. They revered the stars and oceans, built temples (huacas) for the sun and the moon, and fell to their knees at the sight of a rainbow – joyful at the promise of rain in this arid land.
The simple beauty of belief in such reciprocity is overwhelming when you see the vast, intricate ruins which were once the people’s metropolis.
It’s not too late to resurrect it. This is the kind of worship I can get on board with!