Trip Start Dec 08, 2004
38Trip End Dec 07, 2005
Chan-Chan: the remains of what was probably the largest adobe city in the world... ever!
Chan Chan, 5 km (3 mi) west of Trujillo,was the largest pre-Colombian city in South America as the capital of the Chimu kingdom around 1300 AD. Some archaeologists believe it was the largest adobe city ever. There were also nine sub-cities each ruled by a different ruler. Around 100,000 residents inhabited 10,000 buildings in the main city. The city was used to store large quantities of gold, silver and ceramics, which, within two decades of the Spanish arrival, were completely looted
Sadly, not much remains of the original city due to heavy downpours and tomb robbers, huaqueros. The best-preserved section of the city today is the Tschudi Complex. The complex still features friezes and courtyards as well as some original walls; the other walls have been restored.
On the north coast of Peru near Trujillo, the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon) are estimated to be almost 3,000 years old. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest pre-Colombian structure in Peru despite the fact that about a third of it has been washed away. Built from 1200 AD - 600 AD with an estimated 140 million adobe bricks, today the structures look like indistinct piles partially covered with earth. Views from the top are excellent.
Archaeologists are peeling away layers to discover more about these ancient ruins and are constantly discovering and displaying new friezes of stylized figures.