07 February 2020

Peru, 11 Years Later: Sillustani

Sillustani is a pre-Incan cemetery on the shores of Lake Umayo near Puno in Peru. This is one archaeological site that I have visited while I was in the Puno area. It's a short drive away from Puno, and I visited it one afternoon.

There are plenty of funerary structures in Sillustani. These structures are called chullpas, and are constructed for the dead of the nobility. Most of the chullpas are destroyed nowadays, either by grave robbers, or by lightning.

As you can see in the photos above, there are several styles of funerary towers. Some are made of smooth stones, which come from the Inca period. Others are slightly rougher, and these are from an earlier period. The openings of these towers are always facing east, where it was believed the Sun was reborn by Mother Earth each day. When people are buried, there are some belongings of them that are included inside the towers, though we didn't see any actual remains at the time.

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