Chankillo is an ancient monumental complex in the Peruvian coastal desert, found in the Casma-Sechin Oasis in the Ancash Department of Peru. The ruins include the hilltop Chankillo fort, the nearby Thirteen Towers solar observatory, and residential and gathering areas. The Thirteen Towers are believed to have been a solar observatory built in the 4th century BC.
The site covers about four square kilometres (1.5 square miles) and is believed to be a fortified temple that was occupied in the 4th Century BC. .
The Thirteen Towers solar observatory
The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo course north to south along a ridge of a low hill and are regularly spaced, forming a "toothed" horizon with narrow gaps at regular intervals. To the east and west investigators found two observation points. From these vantages, the 300m long spread of the towers along the horizon corresponds very closely to the rising and setting positions of the Sun over the year. This infers that some activities of the ancient civilization may have been regulated by a solar calendar.
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Towers point to ancient Sun cult, BBC
Early Monumental Architecture on the Peruvian Coast
Yale University article: Peruvian Citadel is Site of Earliest Ancient Solar Observatory in the Americas and slide show
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chankillo