Chimu culture


The Chimu civilization lasted from 1100 AD to the late 1400's AD. The Chimu state was characterized by conquest and expansion periods of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. At one time, the Chimu empire encompassed 620 square miles. Minchancamon was the greediest and coincidentally the last leader of the Chimu state. His quest for dominance, built on by his predecessors, resulted in the conquest of the Sican state to the north. In their quest for expansion, the Chimu encountered the Inca to the south. The Chimu conflict with the Inca began in 1462, and the Inca eventually prevailed. The Inca conquered the Chimu state in 1475 - 1476. The entire Chimu state was absorbed into the Tawantinsuyu community and resettled in the city of Cuzco to serve its new Inca rulers.

The Chimu were well known for their elaborate irrigation systems. These systems provided a great deal of water for an ordinarily dry and arid land. The longest of these irrigation canals extended twenty miles from the Chicama Valley to the capital city of Chan Chan. The Inca technique of overwhelming the Chimu was to take out the intricate canal/irrigation system and divert the water back to the canal from whence it came.

The focus of the Chimu state was the city of Chan Chan. The Chimu state consisted of a hierarchically, highly organized, strict social class system. This system consisted of the nobles and the commoners. It is estimated that the population of Chan Chan was around 70,000 people. This estimation is based on the amount of water wells and the notably densely populated areas of the Chimu times.