The year 850 AD marks the beginning of the fabled Ming Dynasty in
In about that same year, Chan Chan - what is now known as the largest Pre-Columbian city in all of the Americas - was in the midst of its growing boom on the opposite side of the globe.
some of the more well-known tourist archeological sites in Peru such as
Picchu or Cusco, this main city of the Chimu Culture
was a full-blown city occupied by
levels of Chimu society.
This Chimu, Peru, empire covered the western shore of South
America from about the
current frontier of Ecuador in the north down to the middle of
In 1470 AD the Chimor Culture was overtaken and absorbed by the Incas.
an estimated population of 30,000 people and covering an area of
aproximately 3 x 2-1/2 miles (20 sq. kilometers), this center of population certainly
was one of the most impressive cities of its time.
Chan Chan is located near the present-day city of Trujillo on the coastal plains of the country of Peru, South America.
The dominant features of the landscape around Chan Chan in modern times is predominantly desert.
As in all
of Peru, the coastal
desert plains suffer an almost total lack of
rainfall accented by an occasional torrential and destructive storm.
Nearby valleys, however, with their river-irrigated fields produce all types of lush tropical fruit and foliage, the extent being limited only by the area of irrigation.
On the edges of present-day Chan Chan you will see fields of maracuya (passion fruit), corn, sugar cane, and other crops.
There are several theories regarding the decline and downfall of the Chan Chan and the Chimor people.
The most likely scenario was that a period of heavy rains followed by drought weakened the strength of Chimu Culture and led to its desintegration.
Built of adobe (sun-baked mud bricks), the 10,000 structures composing
the city have gradually eroded to what is seen today. The still
impressive remnants of Chimu Culture palaces and temples as well as
other immense stuctures, however, can easily be seen at this time.
Chan Chan's important cultural features and historical value, a well as easy access from the city of Trujillo, make this site well worth a day's visit for any tourist to Peru, as the following video shows.
Some experts estimate that Peru has over 100,000 archaelogical sites.
Protecting these sites from environmental damage and encroachment of
civilization is a monumental task.
The difficulty in protecting mud-brick sites such as Chan Chan and many others is on ongoing challenge.
Archaelogists are now using drone cameras not only to unveil more sites but also to preserve images of existing sites for future restoraion.
In this video, drones are shown photographing various sites in Peru including Chan Chan.