Peruvian Cloud People

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Danny Yark Quest for the Lost Tombs of the Peruvian Cloud People By: Peter Lerche National Geographic Magazine I found my article in National Geographic Magazine and it covered the exploration of the Lost Tombs of the Peruvian Cloud People and what caught my attention was the location of these tombs. These Peruvian Cloud People would not bury their dead but put them on these ledges or tombs on the sides of these one thousand foot rock faces, about two-thirds of the way up. These people would not only put the bodies of these dead on these ledges but would also put them in there with all there belongings and anything that had any relevance to their lives. The tombs are home to the Chachapoya and are located on the eastern slopes of the Andes. Peter Lerche describes these tombs as "rectangular as a shoebox". The tomb consists of a couple of logs serving as a roof and a square opening on one side.

The Chachapoya people lived about A.D. 600 and had inhabited about 10,000 square miles of thick forest between the Huallaga and Maronon rivers. People believe the name Chachopoya was given to these people by the Incas. Chachopoya which means "the people of the clouds". These people built hundreds of societies on mountaintops and ridges. These people were known for their circular stone structures which were found at these sites by as many as 400 and as few as 20. The people who were investigating these sites did not have permits from the Peruvian government to go inside these tombs or touch a single artifact. So they would repel down the rock faces and peer into these tombs. As they looked in the tombs they could only make out a few things, there were long wooden shafts of Chachapoya weapons in the corner, and also a mace with a green tinted, star-shaped object at the head of it and two basket like objects which are believed to be mummies.

The reason that these tombs were reported on was due to the extreme curiosity of how these people actually created these tombs and how they transported these objects and artifacts to these sites. One theory is that the tombs had ledges that led to them and upon the completion of the tomb the ledges were broken off but no one is really sure of how these people did it.