The Pachacamac Idol of Peru Survived Pizarro

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The Pachacamac Idol, a 1200-year-old wooden carving that held spiritual significance to the Inca (Sepúlveda et al., PLOS ONE, 2020)

This Inca Idol Survived the Spanish Conquest. 500 Years Later, Archaeologists Are Unveiling Its History

by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com

As the year 1533 drew to a close, Spanish conquistador Hernando Pizarro departed Peru, full to bursting with stories of the wonders he had seen. The Inca Empire, he explained to his comrades and superiors, had readily succumbed to the four Pizarro brothers and their forces. Along the way, the Spaniards had attacked the locals, imprisoned their leaders, looted Inca valuables and desecrated places of worship.

One sacred casualty, Pizarro boasted, was an 8-foot-tall wooden idol, intricately carved with human figures and animals, once housed in the Painted Temple near what is now Lima. The Inca revered the idol, which represented one of their most important deities, as an oracle. But Pizarro quickly linked the artifact to apparent “devil” worship and ordered his followers to “undo the vault where the idol was and break him in front of everyone.”

Shortly after, Western records of the artifact dwindled, and the so-called Pachacamac Idol was presumed destroyed, as Pizarro had planned.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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