Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chan Chan y Huanchaco

While in Trujillo, we took advantage of a day trip to Chan Chan, the largest pre-columbian city in South America. Chan Chan (Chan = Sun) is an archaeological site less than an 1 hr from Trujillo (northern Peru). 

Chan Chan was constructed by the Chimor (the kingdom of the Chimú), a civilization which traces back farther to the older Moche civilization. Built around AD 850, as the imperial capital, it was estimated that around 30,000 people lived in the city of Chan Chan until its conquest by the Inca Empire in AD 1470. 

Walking around the ruins, you see the extreme decay due to climate (eg el nino) and also past looting, causing the ruin to be largely rebuilt.

There is a tiny museum with some artifacts and fine pottery. The tour leaves you with some unsatisfying facts and theories (practiced human sacrifice, mummified their kings, etc, etc.)

Due to its scale and unique standing, it's unfortunate that the site is not as preserved or taken care of as other popular ones (e.g. Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo). In any case, it was great to step back in time.

We finished the tour by visiting the beach town of Huanchaco.

squirrels represented the land to the chimu
in front of the rainbow temple
the symbol in the center is a dagger used for human sacrifice - eek!

peruvian hairless dog

almacenes - depository or storage

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