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Coal and cremation in ancient Peru

January 1, 2013

After my visit to the adobe-walled archaeological site of Chan Chan, near Trujillo in northern Peru in the summer of 2000 (Geotimes, August 2003), my guide asked if I would like to see the metallurgical furnaces used by the Chimú, ancient residents and master metalsmiths of the region. Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimú Empire (A.D. 1100-1400) and the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. These furnaces, my guide explained, were where Andean gold, silver and copper ores were smelted and fabricated into jewelry, masks and plates sought by the Spaniards. We left the main part of the complex, followed a dusty trail, and arrived at a site marked by fresh-looking, redbrown, clinker-like debris.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2004
Title Coal and cremation in ancient Peru
Authors William E. Brooks
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geotimes
Index ID 70046710
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Mineral Resources Program