Kuélap or Cuélap is a walled settlement located in the mountains near the towns of María and Tingo, in the southern part of the region of Amazonas, Peru. It was built by the Chachapoyas culture in the 6th century AD on a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley.

Early history  Partial view of the site.

Human occupation at the site starts in the 5th century AD,[1][2] but the majority of structures were built between 900 and 1100 AD.[2] The city may have had some 3000 inhabitants, but was abandoned in 1570 due to the Spanish Conquest.[3][4] As a consequence the city deteriorated and was covered by tree roots.[4]

Modern history  The massive walls that protected the fortress.

Kuélap was accidentally rediscovered in 1843, by Juan Crisóstomo Nieto, a judge from the city of Chachapoyas.[5] Then, in 1870, Antonio Raimondi made a survey of the site.[6]

Explorer Charles Wiener visited the site in 1881. In 1939, French general Louis Langlois studied the site and wrote a detailed description of the main buildings. Kuélap was also studied by archaeologists Ernst Middendorf (1887); Adolf Bandelier (1940); spouses Henry and Paule Reichlen (1948); and Arturo Ruíz (1972).[6][7]

Since the 1980s many Peruvian and foreign archaeologists continued with excavations and studies at Kuélap.[6]

Since 2013, it has suffered a series of structural instabilities that culminated in the collapse of a section of the perimeter wall in April 2022. The Ministry of Culture, with the support of Peruvian and foreign experts and researchers, launched emergency conservation measures and scientific research to prevent further structural collapses and identify their causes.

^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b Cite error: The named reference :2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference :4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b "Kuelap Fortress". World Monuments Fund. Retrieved 2017-06-14. ^ Schjellerup, Inge (1997). Incas and Spaniards in the Conquest of the Chachapoyas. Göteborg University, Department of Archaeology. p. 104. ISBN 9789185952526. ^ a b c Narváez, Alfredo. "Breve historia de las Intervenciones en Kuélap". Antiguas civilizaciones en la frontera de Ecuador y Perú (in Spanish). Asociación Amigos del Museo de Sipán. pp. 31–33. ^ Bradley, Robert (2005). The Architecture of Kuelap (Ph.D. thesis). Columbia University.
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