The Lost Cities of the Cloud People

August 27, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
more: Much about the Cloud People is shrouded in mystery. As recently as 2008, a lost Chachapoya city was discovered in the isolated Amazon rainforest during an archaeological expedition to Peru’s Jamalca district, about five hundred miles north-east of Lima. The fortified citadel was found to contain the walls of buildings and rock paintings, and perched on the edge of a chasm – literally carved into the Andes – it may have been used by the Cloud People to keep a lookout for enemies
Little is known about the Chachapoyas as they left no written records, but it appears their culture began to prosper in the 9th century, when their towering cities were developed, possibly as defensive measures against invading Huaris. However, five hundred years on, their fortunes faltered with the spread of the Inca Empire. Despite fierce resistance, the Cloud People were conquered by the Incas, and were by turns rebelling and being suppressed when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1535.
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Sacrophagi_of Karajia

The figures balance aloft on the ledge of a cliff, their gaze fixed where the first rays of the rising sun will appear, waiting for a new day to dawn. Known by the name Warriors of the Clouds, the Chachapoyas were an ancient Andean people who inhabited the mist-swathed rainforests of what is now northern Peru. They were wiped out some five hundred years ago, and looking out over the vast Utcubamba Valley, these figures stand as remnants of their once great civilisation.


In the remote mountainous Amazonas region of present-day Peru, various relics stand as testimony to the Chachapoyas and what they achieved. The scene just described is the site of Karijia, where six full-size sarcophagi preside over the surrounding territory, and have done for almost a millennium. Made of clay and plant matter, the masked coffins contain the mummified remains of Chachapoya elite. How they were placed in such an inaccessible position, no one knows for certain.






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