Chankillo administrative building
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Panoramic photo by John Sanchez EXPERT Taken 16:13, 09/08/2012 - Views loading...

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Chankillo administrative building

The World > South America > Peru

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Chankillo was built as a fortified temple complex over 2,300 years ago in the coastal desert of Peru, near the Casma-Sechín river basin. The monumental complex was constructed from cut stone and includes a fortified temple, a plaza, and 13 towers, which are now thought to be an astronomical observatory. Excavations at Chankillo have indicated that the site was occupied sometime between the mid-fourth century B.C. and the early first century A.D. for a relatively short period of time and was subsequently abandoned, most likely due to violent conflict.

Chankillo was identified as an observatory in 2007, creating greater interest in the site. Strong winds, humidity, temperature fluctuations, and earthquakes have caused erosion, loss of mortar, and weakening of stone masonry to the historic elements of the site. As a result, stones have cracked and fallen out, causing structural instability and the gradual collapse of walls.

http://www.wmf.org/project/chankillo

http://www.idarq.org/chankillo.htm

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This panorama was taken in Peru, South America

This is an overview of South America

South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.

To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

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