View of the ruins of Chan Chan.

Outer mud wall at Chan Chan.

Corridor inside Chan Chan

Chan Chan from Huaca Toledo, crop fields.

Current crop fields within Chan Chan.

Water reservoir at Chan Chan.

Water reservoir, “Huachaque”, at Chan Chan.

Chan Chan, the capital of the Kingdom

Chan Chan (Sun Sun in English) was one of the most complex and populated urban centers in the New World. The city was a vast landscape of adobe walls, spreading across one of the most fertile valleys in the arid north coast of Peru.

The suburbs of the Chimú capital were composed of large popular communities with thousands of modest dwellings made of cane, housing the Kingdom’s farmers, fishermen and artisans. There were also numerous stepped pyramids, called huacas, as well as large adobe enclosures where the minor nobility and state functionaries lived. In the center of the urban complex, eleven enormous compounds housed the governing class, which lived surrounded by 12- meter-tall adobe walls that stretched 600 meters in length.