Researchers Uncover Unprecedented Ancient Murals In the Pre-Hispanic Citadel of Chan Chan

Researchers exploring parts of the ancient city of Chan Chan have come across mural decoration includes scuts, waves, and representations of the lunar animal, a mythical symbol used by different cultures of northern Peru.

Thousands of years ago, people living on the northern coast of Peru built an imposing ancient city intricately decorated with incredible symbols.

The city is known not only for its symbols and beautiful murals but as well as being the largest city of the pre-Columbian era in South America.

From 900 all the way to 1470, Chan Chan served as the capital of the empire of the Chimor Civilization, who was eventually conquered by the Inca Empire.

Wall motifs found at Chan Chan
Image Credit: Ministry of Culture of Peru

And while we thought we knew just about everything about this ancient city, experts have just announced they’ve discovered a new set of amazing murals and corridors in the Walls of the ‘mud city’ of Chan Chan.

The discovery was made in Utzh An or Gran Chimú, one of the ten walled palaces of the citadel adjacent to the city of Trujillo, 570 km north of Lima.

«The corridor was discovered two weeks ago. It is about 6 meters wide and 50 meters long. We have not yet excavated half of the corridor (25 meters) and we have to go down 1.5 meters to reach the floor,” says archaeologist Henry Gayoso, responsible for the restoration project of the perimeter walls of the Utzh An palace.

Wall decorations in Chan Chan
Wall decorations in Chan Chan. Image Credit: Ministry of Culture of Peru

“Once finished we will know its meaning, although we believe that it was meant for an important character”, adds the archaeologist.

The mural decoration includes squares (similar to chessboard squares), waves and, in the area of access to the corridor, representations of the lunar animal, a mythical symbol of the different pre-Hispanic cultures of the coast and northern highlands of Peru.

“The recent findings in the Chan Chan Archaeological Complex show us the vastness of our cultural heritage and how much we still have to discover,” said Patricia Balbuena, Minister of Culture of Peru, who highlighted the quality of conservation work.

Balbuena also visited the excavations being done at Huanchaco, where archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of children, beleived to have been sacrificed in rituals performed by the Chimu culture, thousands of years ago.

In July of this year, the Huaca Toledo excavation project will be completed, the largest of the complex’s pyramids and the first to be investigated.

Featured Image Credi: Ministry of Culture of Peru

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