Top Ten Chimu Artifacts

Top Ten Chimu Artifacts

       The Chimú were the residents of Chimor with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city, in the Moche valley of Trujillo,Peru. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD, just fifty years before the arrival of the Spanish in the region. Spanish chroniclers were able to record accounts of Chimú culture from individuals who had lived before the Inca conquest. Archaeological evidence suggest that Chimor grew out of the remnants of Moche culture; early Chimú pottery had some resemblance to Moche pottery. Their ceramics are all black and their metalwork is very detailed and intricate. The Chimú resided in the north coast of Peru: “It consists of a narrow strip of desert, 20 to 100 miles wide, between the Pacific and the western slopes of the Andes, crossed here and there by short rivers which start in the rainier mountains and provide a series of green and fertile oases.” The valley plains are very flat and well suited to irrigation, which is probably as old as agriculture here. Fishing was also very important and was almost considered as important as agriculture.

  1. Gold Crown and Necklace (1300 AD)

    This gold apparel can be seen at the Larco Museum in Lima, Perú.
    Links: Top Ten Crowns, Top 100 Gold Artifacts,
  2. Gold Cup

    Links: Top Ten Chalices/Cups, Top 100 Gold Artifacts,
  3. Gold Knife

    Links: Top Ten Knives/Daggers,
  4. Gold and Silver Death Mask (1000–1465 AD)

    This is a death mask made of gold and silver alloy with copper eyes and ears. It can be seen at the Museo Larco in Peru.
    Links: Top 100 Masks,
  5. Shoes (12th-15th Century AD)

    These are ataderos (ankle boots), from the Chimu culture in Peru. They were made between the 12th and 15th century A.D. Most likely intended for an elite burial, the boots are made out of silver, which in the Chimu culture was a luxury item limited to the upper classes. These boots are the only known surviving pair that may have actually been worn. The three others, known to exist, are all miniatures.
    Links: Top 100 Shoes, Top Ten Ancient Shoes,
  6. Gold Kero Beaker

    Links: Top Ten Chalices/Cups,
  7. Gold Monkey Kero

    The KERO (or beaker) of beaten gold was created by the indigenous Chimú culture of northern Peru prior to its domination by the Inca in the fifteenth century. Gold was highly prized by the Peruvians and was even thought to be the congealed “tears of the gods.” The artistry required to fashion such a large container with ornate relief elements represents this culture’s highly skilled metal-working tradition. The design of the beaker is well suited to its shape. When inverted, the lower embossed band serves as a collar, and the two bands at the top become a flat cap. Several gold keros of this type bear upside-down faces. Only when empty can these beakers be placed bottom-side up to display the face of the god.
  8. Silver Panpiper Vessel (14th-15th Century)

    This panpiper vessel is from the North Coast of Peru and stands 8 1/4 in. (20.9 cm). It is currently part of the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection.
  9. Gold Piece

    This square cast gold piece measures 5 in and resides in the American Museum Of Natural History Collection.
  10. Headband with Feather (1370-1470 AD)

           This hammered gold headband with feather dates back to 1370-­1470 AD and is currently part of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection.
  11. Earflares (900-1470 AD)

  12. Gold Pectoral

    This is a gold Chimu pectoral, which can be found at the Museo Larco in Peru.
  13. Bonus: Silver Nose Ornament (1100–1470 AD)

    This is a silver nose adornment from the Museo Larco in Peru.
  14. Bonus: Gold and Copper Tunic

    This Gold & Copper Repoussé Tunic can be seen at the National Museum Of Peru.
  15. Bonus: Mantle (1000-1476 AD)

    This mantle, which depicts pelicans and tuna fish dates to the late intermediate period of Chimu culture, lasting from 1000-1476 AD.
  16. Bonus: Vessel (1100-1400 AD)

    This vessel depicts a fisherman on a ‘caballito de totora,’ or…
  17. Bonus: Copper Ceremonial Knife (10th-15th Century)

    The Moche people of northern Peru (first–seventh century) were among the first to use copper, often with the addition of arsenic to harden the metal and improve the quality of the cast. Moche metalworkers hammered most of their precious metals, gold and silver, into objects of sheet metal, but many works in copper were cast by the lost-wax technique. The Chimú people, who made this ceremonial knife, inherited the rich cultural and artistic traditions developed by the earlier Moche. Clearly a ritual object, indicated by the delicate, projecting details and attractive silhouette, the knife has a semicircular blade. The flat undulating shaft is embellished with circles in relief; stylized birds project from its sides. At the top is a human head wearing a headdress with mushroom shapes. The detailed facial features, wide staring eyes and open mouth framed by age wrinkles, give the face a startled look. The holes in the earlobes once held ornaments. The object is cast of a copper/arsenic alloy; its surface is now covered with copper corrosion developed over many centuries of burial. This knife currently resides at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
    Links: Top Ten Knives/Daggers,
  18. Bonus: Copper Fishhook

    This copper fishhook can be found in the Museo Larco.
    Links: Top 100 Fish,
  19. Bonus: Vessel

    This vessel depicts sexual acts and resides in the Museum of the Americas in Madrid, Spain.
  20. Links: Top Ten Peruvian Attractions,,,,