Chulpas Silyustani
Peru, Puno

The burial ground of the pre-Dink era Chulpas Silustani is located in Peru, on the shores of Lake Umayo, at an altitude of 3840 meters above sea level, 34 km from the city of Puno. Tombstones in the form of towers (chulpas) belong to the period of the existence of the kingdom of Kohl, created by the Aymara Indians, in the 15th century its territory was conquered by the Incas. Aimar built tombs in the form of giant towers in the shape of an inverted cone (at the top of the tower expanded), some of them reached 12 meters in height. The towers were family crypts, and most likely were intended only for the nobility. The worship of the ancestors was an integral part of the culture of Aymara, who considered the towers to be conductors between the kingdoms of the living and the dead. Chulpas was built from carefully hewn stones of rectangular shape, many towers were originally painted white. The deceased were placed inside the tower in the fetal position, which symbolized their rebirth in the afterlife. The openings in the towers were directed strictly to the east, from where the sun began a new day. On the stones of some graves are engraved with images of lizards, which were considered aymara as a symbol of life because of their ability to regenerate. Some of the graves remained unfinished, many suffered from robbers and black archaeologists, in search of treasures that blew up the towers with dynamite. Of the many such aymara burials located on the territory of the ancient kingdom of Kolia, Chulpas Silustani in Puno is best preserved.

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