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The Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors was a dark, well-protected cave that housed a prized golden fertility idol.

The temple had many defenses, including spears, darts, a large boulder, and should the idol be disturbed, the collapse of the temple itself.


The Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors was erected circa 64 BC,[1] around the same time the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol was created by the Chachapoyans.[5] As part of a soldier's rite of passage, the Chachapoyan priests hid the relic inside the temple.[6]

In the 19th century, an American explorer named McHenry discovered a gathering hall while excavating the ruins of the Chachapoyan city Tec'na'al. The building was decorated with pictographs that contained directions of, as well as a crude map to, the Temple of the Warriors. Though what was left of the site was later hit by an earthquake, McHenry's research was kept by the University of Chicago.[6] When Bandelier mapped the region in 1893, he included the cave and its interior but didn't investigate beyond the entrance. Instead, he estimated the temple's shape based on structural evidence outside the cave.[7]

Around 1935, a Princeton University archaeologist named Forrestal organized an expedition to the temple in an attempt to recover the fertility idol.[8] Making use of McHenry's research, Forrestal carried out some rewarding excavations of Chachapoyan sites in his hunt for the temple. Although part of Forrestal's map was stolen by the local thieves Barranca and Satipo,[6] he was still able to uncover its location only to be killed by the booby traps protecting the interior before he could reach the idol's resting place.[3]

In 1936, Indiana Jones was contracted by the National Museum to locate the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors and recover the idol if possible. To do so, Jones hired Barranca and Satipo along with a group of Quechuan porters.[3] Although Jones was confident that he could have eventually found the temple on his own, it would have taken too long, and the pair of thieves had some knowledge of the route in addition to part of the map.[9] After the spooked Quechuan porters fled and Barranca was chased away having tried to murder the archaeologist, Jones and Satipo found the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors.[3]

Upon entering and discovering Forrestal's corpse, Jones successfully navigated around these dangers and retrieved the idol from its pedestal. He used a bag of sand to replace the idol, letting some of the sand run through his fingers as he judged the bag was slightly too heavy. The weight did not suffice, triggering the collapse of the temple. Satipo betrayed him but was killed while attempting to escape with the artifact after leaving Jones to die but the archaeologist survived, just barely keeping ahead of a giant rolling boulder that chased him out of the temple. The idol, however, was subsequently stolen from him by a competitor with the assistance of the Hovitos.[3]

Jones returned to the temple years later to find the boulder still blocking the entrance. Searching the nearby river he uncovered an underwater network of corridors and worked his way back inside the temple, returning to the location of the idol by flooding the very pit that had almost taken his life back in 1936. While exploring the site, Jones discovered that the chamber he had visited was but part of a much larger structure that included catacombs and other treasures beyond the original find which had revealed itself following the damage caused during the archaeologist's previous escape attempt.[4]


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