Human corpses of all ages — children, youth, adults, the elderly — were found inside and outside the houses of Kuélap. Archaeologists believe, because these bodies were not buried according to funerary rituals, a massacre occurred in Kuélap.
Anthropologist Alfredo Narváez said it was not the work of the Incas or the Spaniards. He drew this conclusion because there are no signs of swords or weapons bearing the arms of the conquerors. Instead, stones to the skull killed these Kuelapans.
So what happened to them?
(ProbeNote — Kuélap is pronounced quail app.)
(Probe Note — Alfredo Narváez is an archaeologist based at the National Institute of Culture in Lambayeque, Peru.)
The Maya, the Indus, ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi), Cahokia, and Easter Islanders created prosperous civilizations which prevailed for centuries. Then they mysteriously disappeared like the lost worlds of Lemuria, Kuélap, and the sunken city in the Bay of Cambay.
There are no clear-cut explanations. Researchers give support to such theories as droughts, earthquakes, floods, plagues, military conflict, overpopulation, and political instability. Even though these theories offer plausible explanations, none are fully supported by research communities.
Isolation — The Challenge
We could continue our study of Lost Worlds indefinitely. There is so little known about these ancient civilizations that are now surrendering their secrets to archeologists and scientists. In last week’s blog we visited Kuélap, in northern Peru, and home to an advanced culture of people who defied the laws of gravity.
The people of Kuélap have been associated with the Chachapoya culture. Chachapoya translates to The People of the Clouds. In addition, they are also referred to as the Warriors of the Clouds.
Their culture encompassed a vast region extending into the most challenging and remote areas of South America. Its isolation makes the trip difficult. Consequently, only a handful of archeologists have ventured into the Chachapoya territory to study and explore these fascinating people.
Adriana Von Hagen is co-director of the Museo Leymebamba — a showcase of the Chachapoya culture. According to him, the inhabitants were sorcerers who built their homes on mountain tops and used Amazonian esoteric knowledge of herbs and hallucinogenic drugs.
The Chachapoya first appeared on the eastern side of the Andes Mountains around 900 AD and ruled the mountains and the valleys surrounding them for centuries. Researchers estimate over half a million people lived in the Chachapoya territory.
They possessed their own symbolism and ideology. Hence, their way of life evolved differently than that of the Europeans. A significant mystery is their lack of architecture, which would suggest a rigid hierarchy. No structure indicative of a ruler has ever been identified.
Likewise, archeologists found no architecture of power among the remains of Kuélap or other Chachapoya settlements. Only circular structures — uniform in design — stand against time. These remains echo a complex and cultured society that strived for over 600 years without being dominated by a single person, or family, or group.
Dr. Jago Cooper, an archeologist who specializes in the study of ancient South American cultures, offers fascinating Youtube videos that give viewers a glimpse and some theories into these little known lost worlds.
In the beginning of the video linked below, we scale the impossible cliffs where the Chachapoyas challenged the laws of gravity. Later in the video, Dr. Cooper explains the significance of quipu to the study of the Chachapoya.
(ProbeNote — Quipu are knots tied in string into patterns. Some believe the Andean cultures used the quipu to keep records and communications. These record knots undoubtably hold secrets that — once deciphered — could give answers as to the hows and whys of its people.)
The video is 54 minutes long and features interesting facts, amazing landscapes, brow-knitting theories, and beautiful music. But if you want to skip all that, go to minute marker 42 – 43 and you will experience Kuélap up close and personal.
It’s a bit mind blowing to think such an amazing culture existed hundreds of years ago and accomplished things we couldn’t manage today without our advancements. Then they disappeared, leaving behind little evidence to the cause of their demise.
America is suffering through a plague, political unrest, and climate change. We have enemies who would probably like nothing more than to see our collapse.
Are we up to the challenge? Do we have the fortitude to resist dividing forces? Do we possess the knowledge and the will to fight sickness, climate change, political differences, and hostile takeovers?
Or will we too go the way of the Cloud Warriors?
The idea for my novella Man’s Best came to me after researching lost worlds. It’s my attempt to explain the mysterious disappearances of ancient cultures.
In my novella, after a plague, a society rebuilds and seeks perfection. Scientists and mathematicians rule and mandate planned pregnancies. They genetically engineer embryos by eliminating creative genes and enhancing logical thinking and intelligence. The rulers believe these measures will create perfection in its people, and thus, in their society.
They isolate themselves and enclose their city behind towering walls. However, an unforeseen consequence of all their planning threatens to devour their perfect city.
The Cloud Warriors and other lost worlds probably planned for fulfilling lives, maybe even strove for perfection. Why else would you defy gravity and build a civilization in the clouds?
Perhaps a minor miscalculations lead to their demise, like the Affluent in Man’s Best.
I’d love for you to read my novella and share your opinion. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a FREE copy of Man’s Best.
(ProbeNote — If you’re thinking, Clara’s novella must be crap if she’s giving it away, then please note it received all fours and fives from a recent Writer’s Digest review. Five being an excellent rating and the highest rank.)
It’s free because I’d really like to hear from you.
The Probe’s Mission Statement
The Probe is devoted to:
- the exploration of the unexplainable,
- finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction,
- researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird.