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Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex

Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex

The Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex is a prehistoric site (250-200 BC), located on the north-central coast of Peru, in the Casma Valley, comprising a set of constructions in a desert landscape that, together with natural features, functioned as a calendrical instrument, using the sun to define dates throughout the year. The site includes a triple-walled hilltop complex, known as the Fortified Temple, two building complexes called Observatory and Administrative Centre, a line of 13 cuboidal towers stretching along the ridge of a hill, and the Cerro Mucho Malo that complements the Thirteen Towers as a natural marker. The ceremonial centre was probably dedicated to a solar cult, and the presence of an observation point on either side of the north-south line of the Thirteen Towers allows the observation both of the solar rising and setting points throughout the whole year. The site shows great innovation by using the solar cycle and an artificial horizon to mark the solstices, the equinoxes, and every other date within the year with a precision of 1-2 days. It is thus a testimony of the culmination of a long historical evolution of astronomical practices in the Casma Valley. 

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ensemble archéoastronomique de Chanquillo

L’ensemble archéoastronomique de Chanquillo est un site préhistorique (250-200 av. J.-C.) situé sur le littoral centre-nord du Pérou, dans la vallée de Casma, comprenant un ensemble de constructions dans un paysage désertique qui, associé à des éléments naturels, fonctionnait comme un instrument calendaire, utilisant le soleil pour déterminer les dates tout au long de l’année. Ce site comprend un ensemble à triple enceinte implanté au sommet d’une colline, appelé le temple fortifié, deux ensembles de bâtiments appelés observatoire et centre administratif, 13 tours de plan carré alignées sur la crête d’une colline et le Cerro Mucho Malo, repère naturel qui complète le dispositif des 13 tours. Le centre cérémoniel était probablement dédié à un culte solaire, et la présence d’un observatoire à chacune des extrémités de la ligne nord-sud des 13 tours permet d’observer à la fois les points de lever et de coucher du soleil tout au long de l’année. Ce site fait preuve d’une grande innovation en utilisant le cycle solaire et un horizon artificiel pour marquer les solstices, les équinoxes et toutes les dates de l’année avec une précision d’un à deux jours. Il s’agit donc d’un témoignage de l’aboutissement d’une longue évolution historique des pratiques astronomiques dans la vallée de Casma. 

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

مجمَّع شنكيلو الأثري الفلكي

إنَّ مجمَّع شنكيلو الأثري الفلكي هو عبارة عن موقع يعود إلى عصور ما قبل التاريخ (250-200 قبل الميلاد)، ويقع في وادي كازما، شمال المنطقة الساحلية الوسطى في بيرو، ويتضمن مجموعة من الإنشاءات المقامة في الطبيعة الصحراوية التي ساعدت إلى جانب المعالم الطبيعية على تحديد الزمن، مستخدمة الشمس لتحديد التواريخ خلال العام. ويحتوي هذا الموقع على مجمَّع ثلاثي الجدران قائم في أعلى تلٍّ، ويسمِّى المعبد المحصَّن، كما يضمُّ مجمَّعين من الأبنية يسمَّيان المرصد والمركز الإداري، وصفَّاً يمتد على حافة التل يتألف من 13 برجاً مكعب الشكل، وجبل "شيرو موتشو مالو" الذي يكمِّل الأبراج الثلاثة عشر ويؤدي دور المَعلم الطبيعي. ويحتمل أنَّ مركز المراسم كان مخصصاً لعبادة الشمس، وأنَّ وجود نقطة للرصد على جانبي الأبراج الثلاثة عشر التي تصطف من الشمال إلى الجنوب، كان يفسح المجال لرصد شروق الشمس وغروبها طيلة العام. ويتبيَّن من الموقع وجود ابتكار عظيم يستخدم دورة الشمس ومؤشراً للوجهة بغية تحديد مواعيد الانقلاب الشمسي وتساوي الليل بالنهار وكذلك جميع تواريخ العام، بفارق يوم أو يومين فقط. لذلك يعتبر الموقع شاهداً على بلوغ أوج تطور تاريخي طويل الأجل في مجال الممارسات الفلكية في وادي كازما.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

长基罗天文古建遗址群

长基罗天文古建群史前遗址(公元前250-200年)位于秘鲁中北部海岸的卡斯马山谷,由沙漠中的一系列建筑组成。这些建筑与自然环境相结合,共同组成一套历法仪器,利用太阳来界定全年的日期。它包括一座有3层围墙的“设防神庙”山顶建筑群,2座被称为天文台和管理中心的建筑群,13座沿山脊排列的立方体塔状建筑,以及与13座塔互为补充、用作自然标记的穆乔马洛山(Cerro Mucho Malo)。仪式中心很可能专用于太阳崇拜,在13座塔南北线两侧各有一处观察点,全年都可以观测日出和日落点。该遗产地展现了一项伟大的创新,即利用太阳周期和人造水平仪来标记至点、二分点和一年中的其他日期,精确度为1-2天。因此,它代表着卡斯马山谷(Casma Valley)天文学实践的长期历史演变的顶点。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Археоастрономический комплекс Чанкильо

Археоастрономический комплекс Чанкильо - это доисторический объект (250-200 до н.э.), расположенный на северо-центральном побережье Перу, в долине реки Касма. Объект включает в себя комплекс сооружений в пустынном ландшафте, которые, наряду с природными особенностями, функционировали в качестве календарного инструмента, используя солнце для определения дат в течение года. На территории объекта находится комплекс с тройными стенами на вершине холма, известный как Укрепленный храм, два комплекса зданий, называемых Обсерваторией и Административным центром, линия из 13 кубовидных башен, тянущаяся вдоль гребня холма, а также Серро Мучо Мало, дополняющий Тринадцать башен как естественная отметка. Церемониальный центр, вероятно, был посвящен культу солнца, и наличие наблюдательных пунктов по обе стороны от линии Север-Юг Тринадцати башен позволяет наблюдать как точки восхода, так и захода Солнца в течение всего года. Объект демонстрирует значительные инновации, используя солнечный цикл и искусственный горизонт для определения солнцестояния, равноденствия и любой другой даты в году с точностью до 1-2 дней. Таким образом, объект является свидетельством кульминации долгой исторической эволюции астрономических практик в долине реки Касма.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Complejo arqueoastronómico de Chankillo

Situado al norte de la costa central del Perú, en el Valle de Casma, este sitio arqueológico (500-200 a.C.) posee un conjunto de construcciones edificadas en un paisaje desértico y una serie de características naturales que, conjuntamente, funcionan como un calendario solar perfecto, utilizando marcadores que permiten observar el desplazamiento del sol a lo largo del horizonte durante todo el año. El sitio comprende: el Templo Fortificado, centro cultual o palacial rodeado por tres murallas que se yergue en lo alto de una colina; el Observatorio y el Espacio Público Ceremonial, dos elementos situados en un sector fuera del recinto amurallado; las Trece Torres de forma cúbica, señalizadoras de la trayectoria solar dispuestas en una hilera que se estira a lo largo de la cresta de otra colina; y el Cerro Mucho Malo, indicador natural complementario de las trece torres. El templo estaba dedicado probablemente al culto del sol y la presencia de un lugar de observación a cada lado del alineamiento norte-sur de las torres permitía determinar los puntos de orto y ocaso del sol en el horizonte a lo largo de todo el año. Servirse del ciclo solar y de un horizonte artificial para establecer los solsticios, los equinoccios y cualquier fecha del año, con un margen de error de uno o dos días solamente, suponía una innovación de máxima importancia que fue el resultado de una larga evolución de las prácticas astronómicas en el Valle de Casma.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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Aerial view of the Fortified Temple © IDARQ
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Chankillo Solar Observatory and ceremonial center is a prehistoric site, located on the north-central coast of Peru, in the Casma Valley, comprising a set of constructions in a desert landscape that, together with natural features, functioned as a calendrical instrument, using the sun to define dates throughout the seasonal year.

The property includes a triple-walled hilltop complex, known as the Fortified Temple, two building complexes called Observatory and Administrative Centre, a line of thirteen cuboidal towers stretching along the ridge of a hill, and the Cerro Mucho Malo that complements the Thirteen Towers as a natural marker.

Criterion (i): Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex is an outstanding example of ancient landscape timekeeping, a practice of ancient civilizations worldwide, which used visible natural or cultural features. Incorporated in the Thirteen Towers, it permitted the time of year to be accurately determined not just on one date but throughout the seasonal year. Unlike architectural alignments upon a single astronomical target found at many ancient sites around the world, the line of towers spans the entire annual solar rising and setting arcs as viewed, respectively, from two distinct observation points, one of which is still clearly visible above ground. The astronomical facilities at Chankillo represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.

Criterion (iv): Chankillo was in use for a relatively brief period of time between 250 and 200 BC, during a late phase of the Early Horizon Period (500-200 BC) of Peruvian prehistory, after which it was destroyed and abandoned. The Chankillo Complex is a very particular type of building representing an early stage in the development of native astronomy in the Americas. It shows great innovation by using the solar cycle and an artificial horizon to mark the solstices, the equinoxes, and every other date within the year with a precision of 1-2 days. The solar observatory at Chankillo is thus a testimony of the culmination of a long historical evolution of astronomical practices in the Casma Valley.

Integrity

All the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value of Chankillo Complex centred on calendrical observations of the sun are included within the property boundaries. Chankillo and the wider setting of related monuments that form the property take advantage of built and natural horizon markers to track the progressive passage of the sun along the horizon throughout the entire year. The natural environment and climatic conditions, that are the basis of the good visibility needed for astronomical observations at the site, are maintained to a large extent. The viewsheds that contain the main astronomical sightlines are generally unobstructed, but their preservation has to be monitored closely. Also, the visual integrity of the general setting of the property has to be maintained. Any infringement on the property by urban development or expansion of agricultural areas has to be avoided.

The advancing collapse of structural elements, with the loss of clear edges (e.g. at the tower buildings and the observatories), jeopardises the exactness of the astronomical observations. The conservation of monumental elements is fragile and needs to be closely monitored in the future. In case the information from future research indicates relationships of the central monuments with other elements of the property and beyond, a boundary adjustment should be considered.

Authenticity

The position of the Western and Eastern Observation Points in relation to the Thirteen Towers at Chankillo, identified by archaeological excavation and geophysical survey, and supported by archaeoastronomical data, suggests that the primary purpose of all these structures was to act together as a calendrical instrument. Since the 3rd century BC the sun has shifted slightly at and around the solstices, less at other times in the year. This small change has a negligible effect on the solar and possibly lunar alignments around the site but does not affect the ability of a present-day spectator to observe and understand the way in which the Chankillo functioned. Some aspects of the archaeoastronomical interpretations of the property may need further discussion. Since no invasive conservation and reconstruction campaigns have changed the material substance of the property, the conditions of authenticity in terms of material and form, are met.

Protection and management requirements

The property has been declared as National Cultural Heritage, through National Direction Resolution 075/INC of January 18, 2008. The property has been inventoried nationally by the Ministry of Culture and is registered in the National Superintendence of Public Registry (SUNARP). The property is reinforced by a buffer zone that extends around the site and includes part of the San Rafael Valley, Cerro Mongón, Lomas Las Haldas, Pampa Los Médanos, Cerro Manchán, Cerro San Francisco, and Cerro Monte Grande.

The Management Plan, recently approved, identifies the current conservation and management conditions of the property and its context, the risks and threats to the cultural and natural features of the property and its surroundings, and establishes the policies that govern conservation and heritage management, the strategies and protection measures, and the regulation of the use of the property and its buffer zone through zoning, as well as the programmes and projects focused on sustainability in the conservation of the property.

The effectiveness of the management system will have to be proven in practice. Participation of local communities in future planning should be reinforced, and protection and conservation efforts, which will be key in avoiding any negative impacts through, for example, inadequate tourism development, should be closely monitored.