Around six hundred years ago, Chan Chan, a city in the northern part of Peru, was the biggest American city. There were thousands of structures. Some walls go up to 30 ft. The city was like a maze. There were lots of temples and palaces, all extremely long and adorned with art. Indeed, Chan Chan was wealthy. There was one thing it lacked though, and that’s water. Nowadays, however, Chan Chan is experiencing the opposite! Such heavy rains visit it often, and it’s no longer a secret that these rains are really threatening the city.
|Chan Chan In Peru|
Chan Chan is very close to the Pacific coast. It used to be Chimu’s capital, and that civilization existed from 850 AD up to the year 1470. During that time, a very strong empire was leading South Ecuador up to Central Peru. In the 15th century, Chan Chan’s population reached 60,000, and that population was mostly comprised of workers of the monarch. There were also higher classes, and these ones were made of mostly the professionals and priests. This civilization believed that not all men are equal. Their mythology says that the world was initially three eggs: gold eggs represented the elite, silver eggs represented their wives, and everyone else was copper.
The city stood in a very unfortunate part of the desert. Rainfall in that area was less than 1/10 inch a year. However, there was a sophisticated system used in the wells and canals that made sure that the gardens and fields remained healthy. In the year 1000, the water table dropped, but the rulers of Chimu were smart enough to overcome this through diverting water from the river of Chicama.
The civilization of Chimu is considered the first real society that’s very much inclined to engineering. The methods used in the civilization were not known to North America and Europe when they were being used in Chimu. However, the civilization had no form of language that can be used in measuring and blueprints drafting.
The unpredictability of the supply of water in Chimu was quite a problem, but the sea surrounding it was always a good solution. There exists the Humboldt Current that makes sure that the water reaching Chimu is very rich in nutrients. Thus, there were lots of sea creatures that were very much edible. Indeed, food wasn’t a problem.
In the year 1470, however, the heydays of Chan Chan drew to an end. The Inca overpowered the city, and the Chimu Empire broke down. Most of the skilled were brought to Cuzco, the capital of the Incas. When the Spanish conquerors set foot on Chan Chan, it was completely abandoned. There was still so much treasure left, though. The Spaniards decided to take advantage of this, and to mine in the city.
Chan Chan, little by little, deteriorated. Weather is not its ally. The El Niño storms constantly visited it, and that wasn’t at all good. Up to this day, Chan Chan is still visited by harsh rainfall. The city is dissolving from precious bricks to mud. Some say that it may be wise to put a roof all over the city, but other experts debate that this is impractical.
While Chan Chan may be on its way to disappearance, the culture and habits the Chimu civilization had will forever be treasured.