Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru

Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 22:27
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The Chimu Kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. Its capital Chan Chan, located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina in northern Peru, was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America.

The Chimu Kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. Its capital Chan Chan, located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina in northern Peru, was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America.

Now an archaeological site located west of Trujillo, Peru, the remains of this vast city reflect in their layout a strict political and social strategy, emphasized by their division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming independent units. The Outstanding Universal Value of Chan Chan resides in the extensive, hierarchically planned remains of this huge city, including remnants of the industrial, agricultural and water management systems that sustained it.

The monumental zone of around 6 sq km (2.3 sq mi) in the center of the once 20 sq km (7.7 sq mi) city, comprises nine large rectangular complexes (‘citadels’ or ‘palaces’) delineated by high thick earthen walls. Within these units, buildings including temples, dwellings, storehouses are arranged around open spaces, together with reservoirs, and funeral platforms. The earthen walls of the buildings were often decorated with friezes representing abstract motifs, and anthropomorphical and zoomorphical subjects.

Around these nine complexes were thirty two semi monumental compounds and four production sectors for activities such as weaving wood and metal working. Extensive agricultural areas and a remnant irrigation system have been found further to the north, east and west of the city.

The Moche and Chicama rivers once supplied an intricate irrigation system via an approximately 80 km (50 mi) long canal, sustaining the region around Chan Chan during the height of the Chimu civilization.