The incredible sarcophagi of Karajía

Discovered by the Peruvian archaeologist Federico Kauffmann Doig, the mysterious sarcophagi of Karajía represent an important vestige regarding the method of burial of great characters in what would come to be the pre-Inca culture known as Chachapoyas whose antiquity is estimated to have been 1000 years ago. Located in the Barranco de Karajía, in the Conila district, in the province of Luya, in the Amazonas region, at approximately 2,600 meters above sea level, it is part of the Chipuric archaeological complex, and is characterized by having a unique form of burial in the dead's world.

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Known by the inhabitants of the area with the name of "Purunmachus" word in Quechua that means "Ancient man", these sculptures of anthropomorphic form and of a size superior to 2 meters are estimated that they could be built between the years 1000 and 1300 dc, these sculptures were built strategically on limestone, also these sculptures have the look to the whole ravine, this same fact to this day causes confusion not only to tourists who come to visit the sarcophagi but also to the inhabitants themselves, because now it is not very clear how the ancient Chachapoyas settlers could have carried such monumental rock sculptures to this peak, so it is believed that some time ago there had to be some access road that was eliminated today, this location contributed a lot to the protection of These tombs are thought to have belonged to the elite of the Chachapoyas culture against the looters.

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It should also be added that within the religiosity of the ancient Chachapoyas it was thought that after death the spirit still had the ability to haunt and guide their own, so if the body that was guarded was somehow destroyed already be it for human or natural actions, the life of this subject was also lost but this time in a definitive way, a clear evidence of this idea is the direction where all the sarcophagi look, since in different cultures it is known to look towards the east (place where the sun rises) symbolizes rebirth, so it would indicate the Chachapoyas belief of believing in a life after death.

The sarcophagi existing today are grouped in groups of 4 to 8 and joined laterally and supported by slightly by the posterior end of the rock where they are, the so-called "purunmachus" are constituted by a face made with clay from flat and wide, in these monuments you can see various geometric patterns that are typical to see also in constructions of this culture and thought to represent protective deities, likewise you can see the hollow bodies ideal to serve as a funerary recipient.

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On the way to these sarcophagi, the first thing you will see will be the big noses that stand out notoriously, which gives the impression of seeing giant birds that guard the whole valley, in total you can find 14 sculptures, each of them has a Chachapoyas corpse that After his death was previously mummified, placed in a fetal position and wrapped in typical mantles of his time, of all these sarcophagi you can see six of them that stand out for having an average of 2.50 mtrs. Tall.

But if you think that visiting them is a bit dangerous for the cliff and all that, do not worry, because to give more security to the visitors a safe route has been accommodated that leads to the foot of the cliff (which is as close as you can arrive safely), because of this it is recommended to carry binoculars in order to appreciate in a better way and in detail each of the sarcophagi that are facing the abyss.

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A curious fact is the similarities that they present with other cultures, because the faces of the monoliths of Recuay, of the cuchimilcos de Chancay, as well as being represented in the tumi of the Moche culture, Chimú and even Inca, have a common factor with the figures represented in the Carajía sarcophagi, the jaw prominent.

This beautiful place can be visited all year round, however, you must take into account the rainy weather of the area that is between the months of October to May, now that you know this, do not wait any longer and visit the Sarcophagi of Karajía in Amazonas Peru.

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