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Cloud Warrior Ruin Discovered


cnn

An unusual archeological site discovered in Peru's mountains may hold clues to the history of the Chachapoya people, known as "cloud warriors," who fought the Inca Empire before the Spanish conquest.

Keith Muscutt, a British-born Chachapoya researcher with the University of California Santa Cruz, said Wednesday the site was "strikingly anomalous" because of its size, shape and remote location in the dense forest full of spider monkeys and toucans.

The unfortified, possibly ceremonial structure is located in an area previously considered on the periphery of the Chachapoya domain in the upper Amazon region.

"What it is showing is that we don't really know what their territory was," he told Reuters. The place where the ruins were discovered had been considered a buffer zone between the highland Chachapoya and the tribal cultures of the Amazon basin.

"It is certainly not a fortress, so either the Chachapoya's territory extended further East, or they relied more on cooperation than conflict with their neighbors," he said.

The Chachapoya civilization, which flourished between 800 and 1475, is known for its mountaintop citadels like Kuelpa and Vira Vira and well-preserved mummies found in tombs at the Lake of the Condors.

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posted: 1/18/2007

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