The largest adobe city in the world

adobe cityThe archaeological complex of Chan Chan (Chan Chan) is located in the Moche Valley, on the Pacific coast, 5km from the city of Trujillo and 550 kilometers from Lima. Chan Chan – the largest adobe city in the world. Ancient buildings occupy an area of over 14 km2. The central part of the city is formed by nine so-called palaces – large, walled grounds, smaller sectors and freestanding pyramids. City center covers an area of approximately 6 km2.

The rest of the complex – the old, poorly preserved buildings: the remains of roads, canals, walls and cemeteries. In 1986, Chan Chan gained World Heritage status by UNESCO. Unfortunately, later the town was included in the Red List of World Heritage as an architectural monument, endangered.

From language Chimu, according to the transcription made up by Spanish chroniclers, Chan Chan translates as Big Sun or the sun shines. Thus, there is almost no doubt that the name of the city, anyway related to the luminary. Chan Chan – the capital of the rich and powerful, technically advanced culture Chimu kingdom (1100 – 1470 years). The town was built in the second half of the IX century and flourished especially from the XIII to XV century. The maximum number of residents is over 30 000, and according to some reports, in the period of maximum prosperity, the city ioglo live up to 100,000 people.

The capital of the Chimu consisted originally of nine autonomous regions, each of which is controlled by individual rulers who have shown bravery in battle. These rulers are revered as kings. Each district had its own burial places with rich investment in these gems, pottery, and with dozens of skeletons of young women.When the end of the XV century (1470) came to the Inca conquerors, they could not take the Chan Chan by military means. Therefore, the attackers built a dam to turn the river, which was Chan Chan, in the other direction. Only the lack of water has forced the besieged to surrender to the Incas. After the conquest of the Inca city was losing its value.

However, destroyed and looted it is not the Incas, who are more eager to expand his empire Tahuantinsuyo than wealth. The destruction came when the Spaniards captured the Inca empire. From the Chimu culture, then there is little left. Today remained only a huge area with dilapidated houses made of adobe ruins and places of worship.It should be noted that the Chimu culture, included in the Tauantisuuyyu (name of the Inca Empire), in many ways superior to society created by the children of the sun. It is necessary to pay tribute to the Incas, they were able not only to see and preserve the achievements of an alien people, but also to take them into their culture. The Incas took over the city of Chan Chan as a result of its complete blockade.

The soldiers destroyed the aqueducts, thus depriving citizens of freshwater sources. During the war killed a huge number of citizens. Fallen Chan Chan restored, the population has returned to civilian life. So, for the coming of the Spaniards, the city became one of the plurality of affluent Indian settlements Great Inca Empire, with a relatively small number of inhabitants, and an important political role is not played. During the reign of the Spanish crown Chan Chan was a favorite training ground excavation marauding conquistadors as among European invaders was common opinion that in thicker mud walls palaces and the pyramids are hidden great treasures.

During the construction of the city masters used materials, the most affordable in the region. The most common was the adobe – clay soil, sometimes mixed with Totoro (kind of reed). The walls of the palace – the powerful clutches of mud brick, built on a stone foundation. In the residential building sector, ramps, platforms were used broken adobe and clay mixed with construction waste. Since Chan Chan is located in an arid region of the country, the wood used in the construction of small. Basically, it made from poles, columns and lintels. Roofs were covering woven straw. Modern visitors impressive beauty, the apparent simplicity and style of ancient buildings.

By the time of the Inca Chan Chan was the largest city of its time on the South American continent and remains the largest earthen city in the world to this day. Ancient buildings occupy an area of over 14 km2. City functionally divided into two parts – the center and the periphery. Downtown rectangular covered an area of approximately 6 km2 three types of buildings: walled areas, which are also called citadels or palaces; Wakee or truncated pyramid, as well as auxiliary buildings. The periphery of the city was occupied by arable land, orchards, cemeteries, as well as economic and farm buildings: granaries, warehouses, irrigation system. Center of the city are nine main palaces (the Citadel).

Buildings inherent similarities organization. All the palaces are oriented from north to south, all have a single entrance, located in the north wall. This arrangement allows you to keep under control the coming and going guests. The inner space of each of the palace is divided into three sectors: the northern, central and southern. In the northern part it has a large ceremonial area, the perimeter bounded by low walls – tables, which apparently were used as seats at public events. Inland, to an area called Audience, led ramp. Audiences – a series of courtyards, which were located in the center of the U-shaped building.

 Appointment of buildings – a ritual. Central sector was presented to the largest number of warehouses. In addition, it is located burial platform – a small pyramid with a truncated apex. In the sacred buildings found repose, each of the Citadel. Host was buried, accompanied by servants, wives, concubines, and supplied with all necessary for a life estate. Of course, this sector presents the greatest interest of the Spanish conquistadors, treasure hunters, from the very beginning of the expansion (from 1532). Southern sector was the most spacious. Thanks to the work of archaeologists learned that in this part of the citadel was held everyday life of the owner. There was a kitchen and a bedroom, and it is here that housed the wells that provide the palace with fresh water.

The city Chan Chan archaeological remains of the complex, outside the nine most important. They belonged to a lower elite of the city. Organization of complex strongly resembles the organization of nine palaces.It is worth emphasizing that the citadel was not just housing estates, but included a site for rituals and performed the role of office-rooms, ie They had jobs administration. Now the palace is open to visitors Tsshudi (Tschudi); restoration of the palace began Rivero. Palace Tsshudi or Central House – the most famous of adobe palaces of Chan Chan was built approximately in 1400. Other names citadel – Nick Ahn, because the complex was dedicated to the god of the sea No, that is clearly apparent in jewelry nautical theme.

Palace is a striking example of the architectural style of the Chimu. An important landmark and distinguishing feature of the palace is the ceremonial pool, located in the central part and surviving. This spectacular reservoir must have been the scene of ceremonies related to water and fertility.Until now, you can find two styles of design thread: animals – birds, fish and small mammals; Graphics – a stylized image of the same animal. All carvings were painted in yellow or black. The carvings at Chan Chan depict crabs, turtles and networks for catching various sea animals. Chan Chan, unlike most other coastal ruins in Peru, is located close to the Pacific Ocean.In 1986, Chan Chan gained World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Unfortunately, the city is gradually destroyed. Reasons – the annual storms that increasingly alter desert coastal areas; raising the ground water level; the impact of climate anomaly El Niño, as well as illegal settlements on the territory of the archaeological complex, the expansion of the city of Trujillo. Due to the ongoing destruction of Chan Chan was included in the Red List of World Heritage, as an object endangered. Today, scientists from different countries are fighting for the preservation of the city.In recent years, increased erosion of the ancient city leading climatic phenomenon El Niño. For decades, in this area there were hardly rainfall, but with climate change yearly storms are getting stronger and modify the desert coastal areas.

The best preserved area Tschudi, named after the Swiss explorer Johann Jakob von Tschudi. This area is gradually being restored and opened to tourists. Here you can see some public rooms with luxurious ornaments. Until 1998 adobe structures covered with a special coating to protect them from the rain. However, since the El Niño phenomenon has become so strong that it was necessary to build a steel forest, ancient buildings are not to scale.In 2014, work was completed on the construction of the protective canopy over the built of mud brick (adobe), ancient pre-Incan city of Chan Chan. This was stated by the Ministry of Culture of Peru. Work on USD 60.000 project began in early December last year, 70 workers were involved.

The buildings of the ancient city, located near the coastal town of Trujillo, constructed of adobe (mud brick), and therefore constantly exposed to the ravages of heavy rains brought by warm ocean .And while this year’s El Niño is not expected, yet even small deposits can affect the walls with elegant carvings. Everything is planned so as to minimize the risk of damage from rain, – said the head of the project, Henry Gaios. – Taken into account the possible impact before, during and after rains. This ensures the safety of the archaeological complex. The work included the cleaning of the drainage system and the installation of protective canopies over the walls of the complex.Recall Chan Chan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986.

The city was the capital of the Chimu kingdom, controlled the territory of the northern coast of Peru 900 years. until the conquest of the Inca army under the command of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui in the late XV century. In its heyday, Chan Chan was the largest city in pre-Columbian America and the largest city of adobe around the world.At the same time, it should be noted that at the moment of Chan is included in the UNESCO list of places that are in danger, not only from the rain but also from soil erosion and people who encroach on the neighboring mound territory to rural employment services, construction of houses and the organization of landfills.

To raise the consciousness of the citizens of the country and pride in the heritage of education in Peru, the Ministry of Culture is organizing in Trujillo summer programs for arts and crafts for children, which will involve pre-Columbian motifs cities of the north of the country.It must be said that the popularity of Chan Chan is increasing due to the development of special projects aimed at promoting the historical monument in the media.

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