Chimu

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Chimu

(chēmo͞o`), ancient civilization on the desert coast of N Peru. It is believed to have begun c.1200. The MochicaMochica
, ancient Native American civilization on the coast of N Peru. Previously called Early Chimu (see Chimu), the Mochica were warriors with a highly developed social and political organization.
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, an earlier civilization, was previously known as early Chimu or proto-Chimu. After the decline of the Mochica (c.800), there was a long transition period about which relatively little is known except that it was probably influenced by TiahuanacoTiahuanaco
, ancient native ruin, W Bolivia, 34 mi (55 km) S of Lake Titicaca on the Tiahuanaco R. in the S central Andes, near the Peruvian border; also called Tiwanaku or Tiahuanacu.
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. The Chimu were urban dwellers and apparently had a powerful military and a complex, well-organized social system. They built many well-planned cities; the largest and most impressive was their capital, Chan ChanChan Chan
, ruins of an ancient city near Trujillo, N Peru. An early example of city planning, with a rectangular grid structure, it was probably begun in the period from A.D. 950 to 1400, and it is estimated that it may have contained as many as 200,000 people.
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. The Chimu exerted considerable influence on the Cuismancu empire, centered at ChancayChancay
, archaeological site in central Peru, center of the ancient Cuismancu empire. Culturally influenced by the Chimu, the Cuismancu dominated less territory and were not as powerful.
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. The last phases of Chimu civilization were contemporaneous with the rise of the IncaInca
, pre-Columbian empire, W South America. The name Inca may specifically refer to the emperor, but is generally used to mean the empire or the people. Extent and Organization of the Empire
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 empire, by which it was absorbed c.1460.

Bibliography

See J. A. Mason, Ancient Civilizations of Peru (1957, rev. ed. 1988); V. W. Wolfgang, The Desert Kingdoms of Peru (1965); E. P. Lanning, Peru before the Incas (1967).