Sechín:  Desafío al Tiempo

El complejo arqueológico de Sechín, cerca de Casma, Perú, contiene una de las colecciones más grandes de monolitos grabados de la Edad de Piedra (3,800 años) en el Nuevo Mundo. La colección registra las experiencias de la cultura guerrera de Sechín, en un milenario e impresionante desafío al tiempo. Los monolitos, más de 324, los cuales pueden ser admirados hasta estos días, son un tributo a la habilidad artística y curioso sentido de la inmortalidad de los antiguos habitantes de Sechín. En Sechín el tiempo transcurrió, pero no fue notado.

Sechin:  Ageless Story-telling

The archaeological complex of Sechin, near Casma, Peru, features one of the largest and best preserved collections of engraved Stone Age monoliths (3,800 years old) in the New World. The collection registers the experiences of the warrior Sechin culture, in a most impressive and truly ageless story-telling feat. The monoliths, numbering more than 324, most of which can be admired to this day, are a tribute to the artistic skills and curious sense of inmortality of the ancient peoples of Sechin. In Sechin time went by, but it was not noticed.

Long. 78o 15' 32" W

Lat. 9o 28' 50" S


Good morning, I am Victor Lopez,

researcher of Casma's history and tour guide.

We are in Sechin,

an ancient archaeological site

4000 years old

located 5 km southeast of Casma.

In turn, Casma is on the central coast

of the department of Ancash,

378 km north of Lima.


In this monument we can observe ***

a great number of engraved rocks

dating to 4000 years ago

belonging to the Sechin culture

The monument has several phases or parts.

Seven parts can be identified.

Two are located in the central area

In the central area there is a mud edifice,

and in the exterior area,

where we are now,

there is a rock edifice.

This rock edifice was discovered ***

on July 1, 1937

by the renowned Peruvian archaeologist

Dr. Julio C. Tello

Tello came to Casma

on his way to the Marañon region

to continue his research

on the Chavin culture.

While in Casma, he inquired about a site

where engraved stones could be found.

Mr. Hernan Reyna told Tello

he had one near his home,

and he showed Tello

the figure of a head engraved in stone.

Tello recognized the influence of Chavin culture.

He asked to go to the site.

A peasant named Victor Dueñas

brought Tello to this site,

which was known at the time as

the "Huaca of the Brave Indian"

In this site, this monolith ***

was buried up to this height ***

The remaining rocks had fallen

and the building was half buried;

all this was half buried.

so, this is why this monolith

came to be called the Huaca of the Brave Indian.

Tello was so enthusiastic about Sechin,

that he changed his plans,

cancelled his trip to Marañon,

and remained in Casma for three months.

During those three months,

he worked on several sites.

Here he excavated all of this wall ***

and was able to find the majority

of the engraved rocks of this frontispiece.

He lifted the rocks

and put them more or less in their place.

From 1937, to the present, time passed,

until Arturo Jimenez Borja

became interested in this site.


Here we have two outstanding monoliths ***

two warriors with weapons and helmets, ***

painted faces, ***

appropriately dressed for war,

marching *** toward the building's center.

This march starts from the backdoor.

From there come two warriors

marching toward the center.

This is the triumphant march of the warriors.

Between the triumphant marching warriors

are shown human remains,

a decapited head with blood spilling ***

and here we see blood drops at the end ***

and the hair, which point to the other side***

Below is another decapitated head without eyes, ***

and blood spilling from the eyes.

Here is another decapitated head.

Here is a main character ***

belonging to the vanquished warriors.

He is shown without legs ***

We continue to observe decapitated heads.

The majority of these decapitated heads

are without eyes ***

Here we find a chain of eyes, ***

cut arms, ***

and more decapitated heads.

Again we find the principal warrior

marching toward the central gate,

then we find a pile of human heads ***

and more decapitations ***

Here we have a monolith

showing the upper part of the head,

showing the brains. ***

Above this there is a severed child ***

and a schematic of the human spine ***

We advance to the principal warrior ***

this could be the great chief

or Lord of Sechin ***

This is clearly the chief ***

because he has a larger head dress ***

also, he has two trophy heads above ***

and two trophy heads below ***

Since there is symmetry in the building

everything on this side

is also contained on the other side

On the other side

we observe that there is an empty space

The one similar to this monolith does not exist

somebody took it

At the entrance to the building

we observe banners ***

they are seen clearly,

a post, a cord, with a knot at the bottom, ***

and the banners, one next to the other.


We are in front of a monolith ***

which the archaeologists have found in this area

and have placed it in here

it may not be standing in the correct place

it depicts a loin cloth

the Sechin people used this loin cloth

to cover themselves

On this side the figures repeat themselves ***

on this march towards the center

Here we have a head, in the top ***

showing the brains, ***

the pile of heads, ***

the warriors marching toward the center

the human spine,

the severed child, as on the other side

the chain of eyes, ***

much larger on this side

the vanquished warriors,

again cut off at waist level

and the decapitated heads

in different positions

and the principal warriors marching

toward the center of the building

another human spine

another monolith

similar to the other side

there is symmetry

here is a monolith similar to

the brave Indian of the other side

when we said we found

the monolith of the Brave Indian

this side is similar

On the other side we found an empty space

because there was no monolith

but here we find a similar monolith.

We could reconstruct this side

because we have the identical monolith

the only warrior that does not have a battle ax

is holding a strange weapon. ***

Archaologists still do not know what it is.

We will find it because the chiefs

are buried somewhere

and their weapons will be discovered.


We should mention that the number

of engraved monoliths is 326.

in the backwall there are uncovered monoliths

It is estimated that 60 of them remain covered

a total of more than 380 engraved monoliths

with the suprising age of almost 4000 years

This one is a very expressive head ***

where the eye has been removed ***

and it is spilling blood ***

this one shows a schematic

of a complete digestive system: ***

trachea, esophagus,

stomach, and intestines ***

a marvel of artistic design

one wonders how could they have performed

the engraving using rocks only,

there were no metals at the time

they had just developed ceramics,

we marvel at the antiquity of this site

and at the laborious way

in which they were able to express

their ideas on the rocks


We are here in a rounded corner of the building ***

this is a characteristic of these monuments

of the Archaic Period

at the dawn of civilization

The plan views were square

each side is 51 m in length,

with rounded curves

this wall is original

this wall is completely original ***

in the front wall

Tello lifted the fallen rocks

but this side was preserved intact because

the people who came later filled this side

with adobe and mud

they were able to preserve intact this side

they built the wall with small rocks and mud

even smaller, and then with mud

they were building the wall to the top

note that the floor is half a meter

below the current level

the original celing was much higher, ***

people who came in later made changes.


We are observing another section ***

of the Sechin monument. ***

We can observe all these monoliths

as we saw them on the other side.

Here we find the principal warrior ***

one of the principal warriors,

marching toward the center gate

and the other figures that are clearly seen

thanks to the sun projecting the shadows on the relief.


As in the other side,

this wall is also original. ***

Nobody has changed anything here

because it was protected by an earthen fill

this monument needs to be researched more

It is the same age as other monuments

that portray Casma's rich heritage

from the Sechin period,

we have Sechin Bajo,

Sechin Alto, Caucache,

Concan, in the Casma valley proper,

and in the neighboring valley

Mojeque, Pampa de Llamas, La Cantina,

and a monument belonging

to the Late Formative Age called Chankillo.

Chankillo is a large fortress on top of a hill

which defended a temple.

In the lower part it has a large calendar

considered the oldest solar calendar

in America.

⇒⇒⇒ On image of indio bravo

Sechín - Casma, Perú

324 monolitos grabados de la Edad de Piedra

Sechin - Casma, Peru

324 engraved Stone Age monoliths

⇒⇒⇒ On google map with animation, from Lima to Casma

Lima-Casma: 378 km

Lima-Sechin: 373 km

Casma-Sechin: 5 km

⇒⇒⇒ On trailing clip, showing the best of Sechin, one by one, and then, all together

Narración / Narrator: Víctor Manuel López

Texto / Text: Víctor M. Ponce

Música / Music: Fernando Vela

Edición / Editor: Flor Pérez

Imágenes / Images: Google Earth

Apoyo local / Local support:

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Visualab Productions

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