Crossing the wood of carob trees far away from the culture, I thought that was just one of my dreams. I had never seen before in my entire life such a thing... the hugest complex of monumental structures made of sun dried bricks in the new world. I could appreciate 26 huge pyramids and many other smaller altogether in a sacred site of 500 acres. I literary felt that I was from another planet, there was nothing like these strange and colossal ruins in our own familiar earth. "
That was the description made by the norwegian adventurer called Thor Heyerdahl (who in 1947 went with his raft, the famous Kon tiki, from the port of Callao to the polinesian islands), in1987 when the archaeologist Walter Alva took him to the place.
Tucume is situated in the plain of the north coast of Peru and because of the Cordillera of the Andes, in this area there is no rain except during the years where we had the phenomenon of the Niño with abondant and destructive precitations causing the destruction of a whole village like the actual Tucume Viejo which was abandoned in the XVI century due to the destructive Niño.
Tucume had its origin during the classic period of the Sican culture and became the most important urban centre of the region. Because of that, the Chimu and Inca conquers had it as the political and administrative centre.
The pyramids of Tucume are very well known for its huge size and according to the estimations, more than 130 millions of sun dried bricks were needed to build the biggest one, which measures 450 metres long, 100 metres wide and 40 metres high.
Comparing these pyramids to the ones from the Egypt, the pyramids of south and central america do not have a peak, but large platforms where were situated the temples. According to the myths and legends, each level represented a phase of development in the human life which had to be fully enjoyed. To get to the peak was very tiring and when that was acomplished the achievement was a spiritual elevation and the ceremony at the time was a festive event in the life of those human beings.
Together with the other monumentals groups like the Chimus or mochicas and the Batan Grande, Tucume was related by the archaeologists to the big hydraulic systems and the political and religious centre of the region.
A group of myths are still associated to the site, (like the legend that evokes the existence of a trapped fish (raya) on the hill situated at the centre of site, vestiges of the gods from the past and what makes the hill so enchanted) which made harder the work of archaeological research.
This shows us that the believing of the pre-colombian period have been very present for centuries even after the end of the social-economical conditions of its constructions.