The ancient capital of the Chimu Empire called the Chan Chan is located hundreds of miles from the Inca capital of Cuzco. It seemed that over the years, the Inca had eclipsed their distant neighbors. Although the Chimu Empire was relatively smaller than what the Inca people built in their heyday, it remains as one of Peru’s most important cultures and the magnificent city of Chan Chan as its enduring legacy. The height of the Chimu Culture at Chan Chan, Peru is recorded on the Biblical Timeline with World History during 1100 AD.
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Origin of the Chimu and Height of the Empire’s Power
According to Chimu legend, their ancestors sailed from the north by means of rafts or balsas. They were led to the coast of Peru by a single ruler. When he died, he was replaced by eleven successors who ruled the fledgling republic. This form of government continued until the rise of the powerful ruler Chimu Capac.He expanded the state’s domain by conquering neighboring peoples. Chimu-appointed governors ruled these vassal states on his behalf. They paid tribute to the Chimu which further contributed to the empire’s wealth.
The Chimu people were the direct inheritors of the collapsed Moche Culture which flourished in the Moche Valley between 100 and 800 AD. The Chimu settled in the valley around 900 AD (a hundred years after the disappearance of the Moche in the area). The city grew between 1100 and 1200 AD. At the empire’s peak, Chimu rulers controlled an area of as much as 500 kilometers from its base in the city of Chan Chan (“Sun-Sun” in Yunga or Mochica language) in the Moche Valley. The city covered an area of about eleven square miles. It was enclosed by a high defensive wall that protected its 200,000 or so inhabitants.
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Cremin, Aedeen. The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2012.
Holstein, O. (1927). Chan-Chan: Capital of the Great Chimu. Geographical Review, 17(1), 36-61. doi:1. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/208132 doi:1
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