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 present-day Trujillo city. The culture arose about 900 AD. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimú around 1470 AD.
This was just fifty years before the arrival of the Spanish in the region. Consequently, Spanish chroniclers were able to record accounts of Chimú culture from individuals who had lived before the Inca conquest. Similarly, Archaeological evidence suggest Chimor grew out of the remnants of Moche culture; early Chimú pottery had some resemblance to that of the Moche. Their ceramics are all black, and their work in precious metals is very detailed and intricate.
The Chimú resided on 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.
The Chimú were known to have worshipped the moon, unlike the Inca, who worshiped the sun. The Chimu viewed the sun as a destroyer. This is likely due to the harshness of the sun in their desert environment. Offerings played an important role in religious rites. A common object for offerings, as well as one used by artisans, was the shell of the Spondylus shellfish, which live only in the warm coastal waters off present-day Ecuador. It was associated with the sea, rainfall, and fertility. Spondylus shells were also highly valued and traded by the Chimú.
Peruvian territory was inhabited 14,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers. Subsequent developments include the appearance of sedentary communities that developed agriculture and irrigation, and the emergence of complex socio-political hierarchies that created sophisticated civilizations, technology and monumental construction.