Expedition Photography: Shubet Mountain Chachapoyas Peru
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Chachapoyas Peru

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Slowly we continue our climb. The path opened to a ridge where we could see the summit was actually two level platforms, one above the other. This first platform had the ruins of 7 shunderhuasi (Chachapoya stone round houses), each one about 20 feet in diameter.

View from the Summit
View from the Summit of Shubet.


Atop the second platform there was an ushnu (Chachapoya stone ceremonial platform) 80 by 80 feet and 4 to 5 feet high. Ajancent to the ushnu were the remains of a tower that was once about 10 feet high and 5 feet in diameter.

Chachapoyas Ruins
Chachapoyas Ruins on Mountain Summit.

Everyone at the top
Everyone on Shubet Mountain Summit.

On the south end of the platform a bas-relief carving in the stone exists in the shape of a coiled-striking snake. The snake, machacuay, was a central element among the divinities worshiped by the Chachapoya.

Snake carving
Snake carving in the rock.

Peter's preliminary conclusions on the Shubet ruins bring up even more questions. The size of the ushnu indicates a large number of people were involved in ceremonies. The shunderhuasi appear to have been permanent living quarters in an environment void of wood and water, where food would have to be brought in over long treks. The construction of stone walls deliberately inhibits any access to the ceremonial area. Peter's research indicates that the snake has a direct relationship to the political power and the world of ancestors for the Chachapoya. The ancestor cult may well have held a prominent position in the religion of the Chachapoya.

And that Shubet was probably a pacarina:

A magical place for creation and origin for the Chachapoya.

On Top of Amazonas
On Top of Amazonas.

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Descent of ShubetThe next passagePeter and guideSoutheast Shubet Rock