National Geographic : 1980 Jun
Treasures from the tomb reveal Chan Chan's past Carbon-impregnated black ceramic vessel bears witness to an ancient kingdom as rich as a pharaoh's. Chan Chan, pre-Columbian capital of Chimor on the coastal desert of northern Peru, has yielded treasures for 500 years. Conquering Incas looted it in the 15th century. Conquistadores mined it for gold artifacts. Pedro Pizarro found a doorway slabbed with silver. Huaqueros-grave robbers-have been tunneling into the ruins ever since. A maze of mud-brick walls enclosed nine spacious compounds. These served successive monarchs as palaces in life, as shrines in death. Huge adobe platforms honey combed with chambers entombed kings, hoards of treasure, and human skeletons "stacked like cordwood"-bones of young women. They were apparently sacrificed to tend royal needs in the afterlife. Threatened by squatters, Chan Chan might have remained an enigma had not archeologists sponsored by the Society completely mapped and extensively excavated the city, puzzling out its past. Digging for facts rewards readers every month in the pages of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. The one on the right holds the Pentax Auto 110, the only 110 SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. But, if you guessed the one on the left, you weren't far off. It holds the optional wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The purpose of this demonstration? To show how small and convenient a high quality, SLR camera system can be. If you've ever missed a great photograph because you didn't feel like lugging a big camera around, you now know what THE PENTAI AUTO 110 to do: Just get your hands on an Auto 110. I LIA UIUIU.