he Sachapuyos built imposing citadels on the tops of local mountains in order to make maximum use of the land for cultivation.
Their stone temples and fortresses harmonized with the incomparable countryside of the region. A sample of the greatness of this people, about which very little is known, is the fortress of Kuelap
, a dazzling jewel 3,000 meters above sea level.
The citadel of Kuelap
, located in the department of Amazonas, has unique features and cannot be compared with any of Peru's other archeological remains. Its name comes from a distortion of the word "Cónlap", the name of the people who inhabited the area and paid tributes to the Spaniards in 1591.
consists of a series of embankments, 15 to 20 meters wide, above which rise towering inclined walls. Particularly outstanding are its entrances; built in the shape of funnels with an outer width of three meters and seventy centimeters of inner width.
Some scientists maintain that the city, discovered in 1841 by a Judge of the First Instance, Juan Crisostomo Nieto, was inhabited between 500 and 1,000 AD and that 25 million cubic meters of material could have been used in its construction, three times the volume of the great pyramid of Keops in Egypt.
The inhabitants of Kuelap
had abandoned their city en masse, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, for reasons that are, to this day, still unknown. Italian scientist, Antonio Raimondi, who in 1860 was the first to study the area, discovered the skeleton of a man two meters tall and skulls with blonde hair at the site; a mystery unsolved to this day.
There is still a great deal to discover and investigate at Kuelap
. Meanwhile, this city, 584 meters long and 110 meters wide with 20 meter high walls, continues under a veil of enigma and mystery that envelopes all those who visit it.