Mystery Explored: The Cloud Warriors
Expedition Dates: December 3 – 22, 2007 & April 25 – May 2, 2008


The Chachapoya, or Cloud Warriors, of northern Peru were some of the fiercest fighters of the ancient world. Nestled in the Andes, they dominated the crossroads between the Pacific Ocean and the Amazon, controlling the resources of both and ruling from their mountain fortress called Kuelap. And yet, at some point in the 16th Century, the Chachapoya basically disappeared, leaving behind their stone dwellings and their unusual mummified bodies. I traveled throughout northern Peru on a quest to study their world and perhaps learn what led to their demise. I rappelled over cliffs to see their burial sites and their pictographs, I experimented with their weaponry to learn how they fought, and I rode horses deep into the Andes to recover their mummies. In the end, I learned what may have brought the demise of these once proud people.

Sponsoring Institution: Discovery Channel

Experts involved:
Dr. Sonia Guiellen, Archaeologist
Dr. Inge Schjellerup, Archaeologist
Dr. Alfredo Narvaéz, Archaeologist
Mr. Peter Lerche, Historian
Dr. Guillermo Cock, Archaeologist
Mr. Maxim Holland, Translator
Mr. Edilberto Yoplac, Historian
Locations Visited:
Lima, Peru
Chiclayo, Peru
Miyucsha Caves, Peru
Chachapoyas, Peru
Leymebamba, Peru
Chilio, Peru
Chocta, Peru
Kuelap Fortress, Peru
La Jalca, Peru
Levanto, Peru



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