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Chimú Compounds

The Chimú built their capital, Chan Chan, near present day Trujillo, Peru. Chan Chan was one of the largest urban cities in prehistoric South America, with an estimated 30,000-40,000 inhabitants. Chan Chan contained a number of palatial complexes, separated by walls. These compounds were known as ciudadelas, or little cities, and included cemeteries, kitchen areas, work spaces, and sunken gardens.

Text Source: Stuart, George E. Ancient Pioneers: The First Americans. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2001. National Geographic Virtual Library.
Photograph by:
  • Nigel Hicks/National Geographic Creative