Exploring the Ancient Adobe City of Chan Chan

In northern Peru, half way between the Pacific Coast and Trujillo is the largest pre-Colombian adobe city in the world, Chan Chan. The city, which dates back to approximately 850 A.D, was the administrative, religious and political capital of the Chimu State.

At its height the city covered more than 20 km of sacred and symbolic architecture of the Chimu People whose mythic and cosmic beliefs are evident in the walls of the city, even today.


Extensive excavations have revealed the complexity of this pre-Hispanic site that encompassed a total of 11 cuidadelas or citadels including the Chayhuac Citadel.

The Chimu Empire controlled the city until 1470, when the Incas took over. By which time, there were an estimated 30,000 habitants living permanently in Chan Chan. When the Incas conquered the Chimu Empire in the 15th century, the city already controlled about two-thirds of agricultural land ever irrigated along the Pacific Coast of South America.

Many of the adobe walls are covered with carvings depictive of its coastal location including birds, fish, crabs, pelicans, fishing nets, sea turtles and other small mammals.

The inhabitants of Chan Chan grew their produce in the ‘sunken gardens’, deep trenches that were able to sustain agriculture. These gardens are now desertified because of the lowering water table. In their place is now a man-made lake that gives you an idea of what the area would have looked like.

Chan Chan is extremely vulnerable to heavy rains and extreme weather events in the region. In fact, the day we visited, it was closed in the morning due to heavy rainfall overnight. When it did open in the afternoon, many of the citadels were still enveloped in protective plastic and there was a team undertaking restorative works for the remainder of the afternoon.

To help preserve this important cultural heritage site, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. In 1988 the Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural drew up a ‘Master Plan’ for the conservation and management of the historic site.

Although undoubtedly highly restored, this ancient site is in excellent condition for being constructed with such vulnerable material. It is truly a marvel of ancient architecture. With the preservation works that go on here, we can only hope that it stays that way.

Advertisements
Comments
2 Responses to “Exploring the Ancient Adobe City of Chan Chan”
  1. Carole Malinda says:

    How clever and knowledgable were those ancient tribes,They left their footprints in a way we can never expect to do , except in a negative way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • © Natasha Malinda. This website and its contents is exclusively copyright to Natasha Malinda. All rights reserved. You may not, except with prior and express written permission, copy, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

  • Natasha Malinda from Melbourne, Australia
TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

daianddal

Look what happens when Dai meets Dal...

ACOSA

African Communities Organisation of South Australia

Exploring Ecuador

Megan Brabec

La Flaca Lucia y Gerry

Our Tango classes in Buenos Aires

Flor de Milonga

Events and Details of Flor de Milonga!!

Secha's Travels

Travelog de SechaNua

more colorful

Living life in CMYK

Greener Ways

living a more ethical existence

Travel and Leisure Blog

Latest travel news on food and wine, town and country, family tarvel and budget tours etc.

The cloudforest adventure blog

Sharing ideas and experiences about teaching English in Intag and developing ecotourism to save the cloud forest in Northern Ecuador

Coffee Tours in Ecuador

by EcuadorTraveler.com

Rowing Through Life

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost~

ECO ADVENTURER

Unique Travel for the Eco Adventurer (c)

The Green Blog Network

A global network of green bloggers.

urbsform

Just another WordPress.com site

The Passport Report

~ Paradise At Home and Abroad~

Sarah M. Langdon Photography

Photographer, Videographer, Writer

The Responsible Traveller

Sustainable Travel Photography

%d bloggers like this: