Chachapoyas in Kuélap

Kuélap is an archeological site in the mountains of the Amazonas region, coverred with “selva alta”, tropical forest in altitude.

It was once a city of the Chachapoyas culture, a pre-inca civilization living in incredible landscapes in the current regions of San Martin and Amazonas. They dominated the area between the 5th adn 15th century, until the Incas conquered them.

Round shaped house and view from Kuélap platform

Round shaped house and view from Kuélap platform

Their name Chachapoyas means “the warriors of the clouds” but they were above all religious and mystics. This is probably why they build their house on the base of a circle: it is infinite, no start, no end… They saw in it a symbol of harmony. This architectural feature is specific of the Chachapoyas civilization. The geometric forms (cover picture) on the walls are as well caracteristic of their architecture.

Rebuilt house at Kuélap

Rebuilt house at Kuélap

We know exactly what the exterior of their house looked like, a replica has been built on site. All the rest is pure conservation, which means nothing has been rebuilt.

View from Kuélap

View from Kuélap

We also know what the interior looked like. On one half on the round shaped base, there was a platform to store the food and products. On the ground floor, a fireplace and a Batan, a traditional mortar in Peru. On the second floor, probably the sleeping rooms. With the analyses of the rest of foods found in the houses, we can say they ate guinea pigs.

 

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