Las Huacas del Sol y de la Luna belonged to the pre-incan culture named Moche. Their existence was discovered by German archealogist Max Uhle in 1909. Between centuries I and VII, the Moche people extended their territory in Northern Peru and the two temples are located by the Moche valleys and near a mountain called Cerro Blanco.
One of the temples is dedicated to the Sun and the other to the Moon, but according to their beliefs, the latter was the most important, unlike other cultures.
The first temple, la Huaca del Sol, is one of America’s biggest prehispanic adobe structures, measuring 345m by 160m by 30m, but only one third remains as it was destroyed by conquerors searching for gold and treasures. It is believed that the Moche used this temple for civic-administrative reasons more than religious ones and it cannot be visited.
The Huaca de la Luna is a 12,000 square meters temple, which was dedicated to political and religious duties. It was a place only for human sacrifices or those of high religious importance that could access the temple. Humans would be sacrificed when a natural disaster, known as El Nino would occur. They believed in several gods and this could be seen in their ceramics for example the serpent, the seal or the octopus. The colourful paintings that still remain on the walls of this temple are gigantic and beautiful, with still some vibrant colors. Many tombs have been discovered here as well, including skeletons and ceramics. The ceramics were of animals and the colors used were red and cream colors; in the final phases of the Moche, the ceramics were much darker, almost black. Many things are still unknown about the Moche culture and archaeologists are working on more discoveries and on the restoration and preservation of these two temples.