Ancient Peru Kotosh Archaeological Complex

Part of the magic of travelling through Peru is discovering the surprising number of archaeological sites located close to the major cities. A clear example: the Temple of the Crossed Hands of Kotosh, located just 4 km (2.5 miles) from the urban area of Huánuco.

Nearly 4,000 years old, Kotosh is one of the first traces of human civilization in Peru, and one of the most ancient in the Americas. The site consists of a series of pyramid-shaped mounds, among which is a small room notable for a number of crossed hands made from clay and stone, representing one of the first examples of sculpture found in Peru.

The age of the temple has made it difficult to interpret the meaning of ornaments found inside. There are some who believe that in the two pairs of crossed hands, one can see the ceremonial sacrifices supposedly carried out by priests; others consider the crossed hands to be a symbol of protection against enemies or a representation of a kind of communion ritual.
In any case, it is known from the absence of residential building ruins that Kotosh was not a great population center, but rather a sacred place or a destination for pilgrims.

General Information

Location: 5 km (3 miles) from the city of Huánuco (approximately 5 minutes).

Average temperature: 20 °C (68 °F), with a maximum of 28 °C (82 °F) and a minimum of 12 °C (54 °F).

Season: The rainy season lasts from December to March.


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