Chachapoya: Solving the Mystery of a Lost Civilisation

High in the cloud forests of Peru the stone walls of a mysterious mountaintop fortress rise out of the jungle. These 60-foot walls are filled with the bones of vanished people called the Chachapoya, or the Cloud Warriors.

From AD 800 to the mid-1500’s they lived high in the Andes and became a culture of warriors and shamans, travelling a network of trade routes between the coast and the Amazon. It took an intense struggle by the powerful Incan empire to gain control of the fiercely independent Chachapoya tribes.

But did the Inca ever succeed in conquering the Chachapoya stronghold of Kuelap? Archeologists at Kuelap have uncovered hundreds of elaborate burial sites throughout the settlement that have revealed tantalising clues about the identity of the Chachapoya people and how and why they built such a massive fortress. But the mystery remains unsolved: why did the entire Chachapoya civilisation abruptly disappear in the middle of the sixteenth century? Now, we join a team of archaeologists led by Alfredo Narvaez as they uncover some startling evidence.

Episode Length: 01:00:00

Year: 2008

Episode: 1 of 1


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