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peru, andes, chachapoyas
Andean Explores Foundation/AP
Peruvian archaeologist Miguel Cornejo kneels beside a Chachapoyas ruin on the eastern slope
of the Peruvian Andes in this 2004 photo.

Lost City Discovered in the Andes

December 04, 2008 02:01 PM
by Sarah Amandolare
Archaeologists are examining a recently discovered, exceptionally well-preserved city carved into the Andes mountains by the ancient Peruvian Chachapoya tribe.

City of ‘Cloud Forest People’

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According to the Daily Telegraph, local hikers were the first to stumble upon the city ruins, covering close to 12 acres of a mountainside in Peru’s northern Amazon. When the hikers arrived, they found a nearly 500-meter high waterfall surrounded by lush jungle scenery, and buildings set upon the face of a cliff. The city’s remoteness has protected it from looters, leaving “ceramics and undisturbed burial sites” intact.

“We suspect that the ancient inhabitants used this as a lookout point from where they could spot potential enemies,” said Archaeologist Benedicto Pérez Goicochea to the Daily Telegraph.

In January 2007, explorers found the ruins of a different Chachapoya city “deep in the cloud forests of the Peruvian Amazon,” according to Mongabay.com. The largest, most prominent building found was thought to have “served as a ceremonial platform—a stage for Chachapoya rituals,” lead explorer Keith Muscutt told Mongabay.com.

Background: Chachapoyas

Chachapoyas is a city and tourist destination in Peru, and considered the “cradle of the ancient Chachapoya civilization,” according to the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board. The city’s main square and “narrow pebbled streets” date back to the 15th century.

Related Links: Lost tribes of the Amazon

Reference: Discovery of Machu Picchu

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