Ancient city discovered linked to legendary Cloud People of Peru

December 4, 2008

Peru (ChattahBox) — An ancient lost city has been discovered in the remote Amazonian rainforest of north-east Peru, archaeologists have announced, that could unlock the secrets of a legendary tribe. Archaeologists have uncovered a fortified citadel in a remote mountainous area of Peru known for its isolated natural beauty that may finally help historians unlock the secrets of the ‘white warriors of the clouds’. Little is known about the Cloud People of Peru, an ancient, white-skinned civilisation wiped out by disease and war in the 16th century. The tribe had white skin and blonde hair – features which intrigue historians, as there is no known European ancestry in the region, where most inhabitants are darker skinned.

The Cloud People once commanded a vast kingdom stretching across the Andes to the fringes of Peru’s northern Amazon jungle, before it was conquered by the Incas. Named because they lived in rainforests filled with cloud-like mist, the tribe later sided with the Spanish-colonialists to defeat the Incas. But they were killed by epidemics of European diseases, such as measles and smallpox. Much of their way of life, dating back to the ninth century, was also destroyed by pillaging, leaving little for archaeologists to examine. Until recently, much of what was known about the lost civilisation was from Inca legends. Even the name they called themselves is unknown. The term Chachapoyas, or ‘Cloud People’, was given to them by the Incas.

Remains have been found before but scientists have high hopes of the latest find, made by an expedition to the Jamalca district in Peru’s Utcubamba province, about 500 miles north-east of the capital, Lima. The citadel is tucked away in one of the most far-flung areas of the Amazon. It sits at the edge of a chasm which the tribe may have used as an outpost to spy on enemies. The main encampment is made up of circular stone houses overgrown by jungle over 12 acres, according to archaeologist Benedict Goicochea Perez. Rock paintings cover some of the fortifications and next to the dwellings are platforms believed to have been used to grind seeds and plants for food and medicine.


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