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(chēmo͞o`), ancient civilization on the desert coast of N Peru. It is believed to have begun c.1200. The MocheMoche
or Mochica
, ancient Native American civilization on the coast of N Peru. Previously called Early Chimu (see Chimu), the Moche 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 Moche (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.


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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The Chimu civilization was specifically known for building Chan Chan, the largest city in pre-Columbian South America.
Chanchan, Metropoli Chimu. Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1980.
The Huanchaquito-Las Llamas burial site is less than half a mile from the Chimu's capital Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The "capital city" of the pre-Inca Chimu civilization culture known as Chan Chan is a World Heritage site and the largest of its kind in the Americas.
The corridor where they were found, buried in earth, was only discovered in June in the Utzh An or Great Chimu palace.
Archaeologists have recently uncovered the remains at a site which dates back to the Chimu empire of Peru.
Experts estimate it dates back 550 years to the Chimu empire, the second largest pre-Columbian society after the Incas.
They found that more than 140 children were ritually killed in a single event some 550 years ago during the ancient Chimu civilization, according to a National Geographic report on the discovery.