The Chimú culture was centered on Chimor with the capital city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Moche Valley of present-day Trujillo, Peru. The culture arose about 900 AD, succeeding the Moche culture, and was later conquered by the Inca emperor Topa Inca Yupanqui around 1470, fifty years before the arrival of the Spanish in the region.

The Chimú resided on a strip of desert on the northern coast of Peru. Worshipping the moon, the Chimú, unlike the Inca, considered it more powerful than the sun. Offerings played an important role in religious rites. The Chimú people are best known for their distinctive monochromatic pottery and fine metal working of copper, gold, silver, bronze, and tumbaga (copper and gold).