Saturday, May 9, 2009


Human Skull - Chachapoya - Peru

Human Skull, Peru, 2000

All that remains of the Peruvian cloud people, the Chachapoya, lie in muddy tombs such as this one on the eastern slopes of the Andes. The ancient culture, which built mountaintop fortresses and fiercely resisted the Inca, survived from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Many of the trinkets the Chachapoya buried with their dead have been lost to looters over the centuries.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Quest for the Lost Tombs of the Peruvian Cloud People," September 2000, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie


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