Chan Chan which is located in Peru, near Trujillo (header image), and has been declared as the largest Pre Colombian city. To be precise it is located in the region of La Libertad in Peru. The excavating of the city was lead by archaeologists Carol Mackey and Michael E. Moseley under the Harvard University Moche Valley/Chan Chan Project. The city is well known for its archaeology
Talking about the architecture of the city there are ten walled citadels that has got temples, residences, ceremonial rooms and various types of reservoirs. If you see the city from the top it will resemble a triangle surrounded by walls that are almost 50 to 60 feet tall. The walls are designed beautifully with intricate designs carved on the surface and the walls are covered with adobe bricks. The designs on the walls have different patterns such as small mammals, fish and birds. A labyrinth of passages results due to the several walls constructed throughout the city.
|The City of Chan Chan|
The agricultural practice that was followed in the city of Chan Chan is quite interesting. The food plants that were mainly cultivated here were squash, gourds, cotton. The cultivable land consisted mainly of the river flood plain.
Initially, when this city was formed people used to depend on wells, which were almost 15 meters deep, to obtain water for agricultural and other purposes. However, when people permanently started settling in the city of Chan Chan they required more agricultural land for cultivating of food crops. As results of this, canals were dug to distribute water from the river Moche to different parts of the city. In this city there were water reserves that were known as hauchaques.
Food habits in Chan Chan were a little different. Their main source of food was marine wildlife. This was mainly due to the fact that this city was located very close to the sea. The people consumed sea lion, shallow water fishes, mullet, shore birds, rays, sharks and purple mussel.
There are no significant accounts in the form of written record or painting to show the religious activity that was followed in this city. It is amazing to note that this city was not used as a religious center. The people of this city also had the habit of traveling to nearby pilgrimage centers like the great cities of Pacatnamu and Pachacamac.
Chan Chan can under the Kingdom of Chimor and these people recognized four governmental principles. The four principles were, divine kingship, split inheritance, the people’s
property as divine right and last but not the least military expansionism. These four criteria not only dictated the ruler ship but also helped to split the various levels of the government.
|Kingdom of Chimor|
Data show that the city Chan Chan had trade relations with neighboring areas. The people of this city certainly traded with Chincha people. Spondylus, pendants, beads found in graves of the people of this city show that they also traded with people living in Equador.
The burial patterns followed in Chan Chan ranged from elaborate to simple burials. In this site there are a large number of sub- floor burials and intact burial mounds are also different from other places. The burial patters clearly stated the difference in class. The powerful and rich were buried near the palaces in the center area of the city.
It is no wonder that the city Chan Chan has been added in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1986 because this city has witnessed history. It was constructed in 850 AD and lasted till 1470.