Primary Source

Huaca Pucllana, Ancient Pyramid in Peru

Stepped platforms made from tan-colored adobe bricks located on the plaza at Huaca Pucllana


Huaca Pucllana is a pyramid site built around 500 AD by the Lima culture of Peru. The pyramid was built with seven platforms made from adobe bricks and is around 82 feet (25 meters) high, and has a plaza surrounding it. The pyramid was a site of ceremonial and religious power. Though the site also contained public spaces and acted as a site of administration for the elite clergymen, religious worship was the primary function. Ceremonies held in public spaces also had social elements for the community. There were three phases of occupation and use of the pyramid and plaza site, the first from circa 400 to 700 AD, when the Lima culture constructed the overall architecture, the second from 800 to 900 AD, when the Huari culture used the site for funerary reasons after a period of abandonment, and the third (or late) occupation, between 1000 to 1532 AD, when the site was used as a cemetery and potentially a village, with Ychsma-style pottery and offerings found. Throughout the different occupations much restructuring was done, therefore analyzing the space has proven difficult. Huaca Pucllana is a good example of pyramids that were created outside of ancient Egypt but can give students an idea of pyramidal architecture in other ancient cultures. 


"Huaca Pucllana: Ancient Pyramid (Peru)," Latin America & Caribbean Geographic, May 2023,

How to Cite This Source

"Huaca Pucllana, Ancient Pyramid in Peru," in World History Commons, [accessed July 12, 2024]