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"We have begun preliminary research and hope to locate the temple which we believe may contain a 2,000-year-old golden idol. Not much is known about the site; only that we are in competition with several other museums and collectors, which may add a modicum of danger to the expedition."
Marcus Brody to Indiana Jones[src]

The Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors, also known the Blood Temple to distinguish it from similar sites in the area, was a dark, well-protected cave-live structure in Peru 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.[6] As part of a soldier's rite of passage, the Chachapoyan priests hid the relic inside the temple, so if the soldier survived, he had proven himself a worthy Chachapoyan, but if not, the society had gotten weeded out one more weak member.[7]


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.[7] Much later in the century, rumors about the hidden Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors somewhere in Peru started to spread.[2] When A. Bandelier mapped the region in 1893, he included the cave and its interior but didn't investigate beyond the entrance. Instead, Bandelier estimated the temple's shape based on structural evidence outside the cave.[8]

Around 1935, a Princeton University archaeologist named Forrestal organized an expedition to the temple in an attempt to recover the fertility idol.[2] Making use of McHenry's research, Forrestal carried out some rewarding excavations of Chachapoyan sites in his hunt for the temple. Although part of his map was stolen by the local thieves Barranca and Satipo,[7] Forrestal 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.[4] That same year, following the loss of the Idol of Kouru Watu that Indiana Jones had claimed from Ceylon's jungles and ended up being broken by Mei Ying, the National Museum informed their curator Marcus Brody that they would be interested in acquiring the fertility idol for a special exhibit of South American Chachapoyan warriors, having already initiated preliminary research to locate the temple and hoped to count on Indy's assistance so he could prove himself to be the museum's best "expert of antiquarian acquisition" in addition to being trusted to handle the danger for such an expedition due to the relic also being sought after by other museums and collectors.[9]

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.[4] 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.[10] 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.[4]

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,[4] sealing the temple forever upon smashing into its entrance.[3] The idol, however, was subsequently stolen from him by a competitor with the assistance of the Hovitos, who chased Jones away from their sacred land.[4] Jones would later sketch the temple's interior based on his exploration with all its traps[8] (minus the spike trap that killed Forrestal and Satipo)[4] listed in his journal, though he wondered how much[8] of the collapsing temple[11] was remained after accidentally triggering its partial destruction.[8]

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, including a jeweled Chachapoyan idol much like the one Jones initially lost, which had revealed itself following the damage caused during the archaeologist's previous escape attempt.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

The rock boulder set-piece for the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors was achieved through the use of a hidden arm-like contraption that allowed the free-spinning boulder to tumble down the chute. While it could be returned to its position for further takes, the boulder broke the set's stalactites as it rolled, necessitating repairs for each attempt.[12]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]