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).
South American Indians who maintained the largest and most important political system in Peru before the advent of the Inca. The Chimú state took shape in the early 14th century. It was a highly stratified society, with a mass of peasants labouring under a ruling nobility. Its capital, Chan Chan, on the northern coast of present-day Peru, is now a major archaeological site. The Chimú produced fine textiles and gold, silver, and copper objects. In the 15th century they were conquered by the Inca, who absorbed much of Chimú high culture into their own imperial organization.
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