CHAN CHAN CITADEL ARCHITECTURE
To build this city, materials from the region were used. The citadels were built using adobe walls on stone foundations joined with mud, wider at the base and narrower at the top. To build floors, wall fillings, ramps and platforms, broken adobe was used, together with earth, stones and other debris. The wood was used to make posts, columns, and lintels. Cane, reed and mat were also used. The roofs were made by weaving bundles of straw.
One of the details that current visitors most admire is the great beauty, variety and number of walls decorated with high reliefs. These were made with molds and decorated the walls of patios, audiences and corridors, inside the citadels. The most common decorative motifs were geometric combinations, but representations of fish and birds are also common.
For the archaeologist Kolata, Chan Chan was not built in a single moment, and based on the study of the adobe, he proposes 3 moments in the urban history of this city. Stage one corresponds to the original nucleus, formed by the Uhle and Chayhuac citadels. Later it grew to the west, with Tello and Laberinto, the latter the first to use the tripartite division of its interior space. In stage two, Gran Chimú and the buildings in the north and west sectors are built. Stage 3 is marked by the construction of the remaining 5 citadels.