Complejo Arqueologico de Chan Chan

The largest pre-Columbian city in South America

Chan Chan is an archaeological site located in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, 5 kilometers east of Trujillo, it was the capital of the Chimú kingdom, the main state of Peru before the establishment of the Inca Empire.

The Chimú kingdom reached its maximum power in the fifteenth century not much before falling to the Incas, the planning of this huge city the largest of Pre-Columbian America reflects an elaborate system of stratification of social classes.

The city of Chan Chan represents the pre-Hispanic adobe settlement of America's largest, its complexity was revealed after years of intense excavations; what impacts is the size of Chan Chan and the intense organization of its strictly hierarchical urban space. The city as a whole covers about 20 square kilometers, and the area of ​​monuments that is located in the center occupies no less than 6 square kilometers; the center of the city is divided into nine walled cities, each built with adobe finished in mud, each of these cities has temples, homes, warehouses, gardens, cemeteries, gardens, water tanks and rooms which are symmetrically distributed , these citadels were the dwellings, cemeteries and cellars of the aristocracy.

Complejo Arqueologico de Chan Chan

Outside these 9 rectangular units 4 industrial sectors were to the west and the south, however, most of the population lived outside the citadel in more modest quarters.

The ruins of Chan Chan that are located in one of the most arid regions of the world are practically melting due to the combined effect of wind and low atmospheric precipitation, because these remains of a recent society and culture require continuous protection from natural erosion, the fragile and abandoned Chan Chan site was registered in the World Heritage List in 1986.

Approximately 30 thousand people lived in the city of Chan Chan, the walls were built of abobe and then covered with a soft cement in which intricate designs were carved; There are two styles of designs present in these carvings, one is a realistic representation of subjects such as: birds, fish and small mammals, and the other is a more stylized graphic representation of the same themes.

Complejo Arqueologico de Chan Chan

The temple of the dragon, also called temple of the rainbow is the Chimú archaeological center in the city of Chan Chan, which is built in adobe and now restored, this temple was a temple of worship of ritual type, it is one of the best conserved of the most important temples of Peru.

The archaeological complex of the temples and the moon includes 2 large truncated pyramids, the temple to the stars, the temple of the white hill, the spider glyph and other constructions.

Both temples constitute the center of the power of the millenary Mochica culture culture which developed from 100 to 900 BC, now the archaeological complex also known as moche temples encloses an area of ​​60 hectares, both temples are separated by a 500 meters wide esplanade and under which is the urban center where the Elite Moche lived, and in front of the pyramid of the sun is the pyramid or temple of the moon, another of the main components of the urban and ceremonial center of the settlement Prehispanic of Moche.

Excavations that are being carried out by Peruvian and foreign scholars are revealing the complexity of this fascinating structure, relieven painted belonging to different phases of construction, at least four of which have been identified so far have been located in several of the squares and platforms; the Temple of the Moon where impressive murals showing the rituals of the Moches can be appreciated and is made up of superimposed temples, beautiful polychrome murals can be seen in its walls whose figures include the image of the god Aia Paec; The Temple of the Moon is an extraordinary demonstration of what long-term patient archeology can achieve here in a site that has been well known and frequently plundered for centuries, excavations have revealed copper layer layer of ancient construction discovering wall after wall colorful borders that were intentionally buried by the Moche and had not seen sunlight for 1500 years.

Complejo Arqueologico de Chan Chan

The 9 walled cities of Chan Chan in ancient times impressed the viewer with temples and palaces adorned with geometric borders in bright shades of color, elaborate ceremonies captured forever in their painted ceramics and works of art in gold that later constituted the treasure of the Incas , each citadel has very high exterior walls some of which measure 26 feet in height that are built in independent segments; the city only has a narrow entrance which leads to a corridor that opens to other passages of covered walls and buildings that display an impressive rectangular architecture, interior patios, administrative buildings, temples, platforms and warehouses; the walls were decorated with high relief friezes that have shapes of geometric figures and animals, these cities were built of adobe finished in mud with wooden roofs, reed and straw.

Complejo Arqueologico de Chan Chan

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