El Reino Chimú, con Chan Chan como su capital, alcanzó su apogeo en el siglo 15, poco antes de la caída de los Incas. La planificación de esta gran ciudad, la más grande de la América precolombina, refleja una estricta política y estrategia social, marcada por la división de la ciudad en nueve 'ciudadelas' o 'palacios' formados por unidades autónomas.
Declaratoria de la zona arqueológica de Chan Chan como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad
Durante el 10 periodo de sesiones del Comité del Patrimonio Mundial, realizado en París, Francia, entre el 24 y el 28 de noviembre de 1986, a través de la Decisión 10COM VIII se declaró a la zona arqueológica de Chan Chan como patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. El valor universal excepcional de la zona arqueológica fue sustentado en los criterios i) y iii) de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial.
Síntesis histórica del bien
The Chimu Kingdom reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. Its capital Chan Chan, located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina, was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America. The remains of this vast city reflect in their layout a strict political and social strategy, emphasized by their division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming independent units.
The Outstanding Universal Value of Chan Chan resides in the extensive, hierarchically planned remains of this huge city, including remnants of the industrial, agricultural and water management systems that sustained it.
The monumental zone of around six square kilometres in the centre of the once twenty square kilometre city, comprises nine large rectangular complexes ('citadels' or 'palaces') delineated by high thick earthen walls. Within these units, buildings including temples, dwellings, storehouses are arranged around open spaces, together with reservoirs, and funeral platforms. The earthen walls of the buildings were often decorated with friezes representing abstract motifs, and anthropomorphical and zoomorphical subjects. Around these nine complexes were thirty two semi monumental compounds and four production sectors for activities such as weaving wood and metal working. Extensive agricultural areas and a remnant irrigation system have been found further to the north, east and west of the city.
The Moche and Chicama rivers once supplied an intricate irrigation system via an approximately 80 kilometre long canal, sustaining the region around Chan Chan during the height of the Chimu civilisation.
Valor universal excepcional(VUE)
Criterio i: Convención de Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The planning of the largest earthen city of pre-Columbian America is an absolute masterpiece of town planning. Rigorous zoning, differentiated use of inhabited space, and hierarchical construction illustrate a political and social ideal which has rarely been expressed with such clarity.
Criterio iii: Convención de Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
Chan Chan bears a unique testimony and is the most representative city of the disappeared Chimu kingdom where eleven thousand years of cultural evolution in northern Peru are synthesized and expressed. The architectural ensemble uniquely integrated the symbolic and sacred architecture with technological knowledge and the adaptation to the native environment.
Chan Chan retains all the elements that carry its Outstanding Universal Value over an area of fourteen square kilometers, which although less than the original area of the city, contains representative features of the architectural units, ceremonial roads, temples and agricultural units that convey the property's significance.
The earthen construction of the city, as well as environmental conditions, including extreme climatic conditions caused by El Niño phenomenon, renders the archaeological site susceptible to decay and deterioration. However ongoing maintenance using earthen materials has mitigated the degree of physical impact.
The setting and visual integrity of the property has been impacted negatively by illegal farming practices, exacerbated by pending resolution of land tenure and relocation issues, and by encroaching urban and infrastructure development, including the recent animal food plant and the Trujillo-Huanchaco highway that cuts the site in two since colonial times.
In terms of its form and design, the archaeological site still expresses truthfully the essence of the monumental urban landscape of the former Chimú capital. Also, the hierarchical arrangements reflecting the high political, social, technological, ideological and economic complexity attained by Chimú society between the ninth and fifteenth centuries are still clearly to be discerned. The original earthen architecture with its religious feature and decorations, although subject to decay, is undergoing conservation interventions using earthen materials and still truthfully represents the construction methods and the spirit of the Chimú people.
Último informe del Perú sobre el estado de conservación (2015)