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Revash's mausoleums

'''Revash's mausoleums''' are some architectonical rests found in the Amazonas Region of Peru. Last century Charles Wiener discerned some mausoleums of Utcubamba: those of Revash in Santo Tomas, that later were studied by the archaeologists Henry and Paule Reichlen in relation to its content, since the roof of one of these mausoleums had collapsed covering and protecting simultaneously the cultural remains. By its part, the Antisuyo expeditions of the Amazon Archaeology Institute, in addition to re-visiting the well-known places managed to identify, between 1983 and 1986, diverse groups of completely undiscovered mausoleums that were documented thouroughly, like the ones in Ochin and many others in the surroundings of Revash. Other groups of sarcofagi also exist in La Petaca (Leimebamba); these ones offer some peculiarities opposite to previously mentioned, since they appear in cliffs like tiny houses stuck to the rock and its walls were not rendered in general as in the case of the mausoleums previously described.

Revash's funeral mansions are located in line, on the narrow hall shaped by the cavity that was excavated in the rocky wall of an imposing canyon. They remain almost intact. But the mummies located in there, with their coverings and their belongings, were pillaged long time ago, by rodents and also by the man's hand.

The mausoleums resemble small housings and conglomerates of the same ones, forming miniature "villages". For this circumstance and for their emplacement in stacks, Revash's funeral houses show a curious similarity with the cliff-houses of Colorado. But these resemblances are only accidental and the function that was corresponding to both was also different.

It can be though that the mausoleums that occupy this region were constructed copying housings, that is to say, they would be part of replies of not funeral architecture of those times, but of which there's no track nowadays. The mausoleums, on the contrary, have survived thanks to the cave that shelters them and protected from the water, and from the man because of its isolation and access difficulty.

Revash's mausoleums were not used individually, judging by the osseous remains still present in tombs and that have not been announced yet. For this reason, it is thought that the mausoleums were collective residences, destined to bury prestigious and powerful deceased.

The sloping roofs, of two waters and of only one fall are purely symbolic, since they were protected by the cave, they didn't have to support neither rain nor the sun. For the same reason, it was enough to imitate them, constructing them with a mud cake, and it was supported by sticks and reeds shaping in this way a form of quincha.

The walls of the mausoleums were raised by stones placed on mud mortar. They have a rectangular floor and have one and two floors. They do not have a frontal door of access; a person entered them by side doors. They are often sideways attached to dividing walls, or use in fact a common wall. The back side lacks of a wall, since the mausoleums were constructed closer to a rock, which makes itself a wall in this way.

Revash's funeral houses present cornices and their walls turn out to be colored with figures; in other cases, the motives are excisos. It predominates over the color red, color with which felines, South American camelids, people, two-color circles and other images difficult to define were represented.

The painted figures spread on sectors that belongs to the rocky walls of the cave. Their clear affiliation to the mausoleums, relatively late, as those of Revash, must warn the researchers that not all the "cave paintings", or rock paintings, are necessarily attributable to preagricultural millennial societies.

The walls of the mausoleums, also present a type of decoration based on excisions. Their symbolic content is still unknown. It is constituted by representations in shape of a T, crosses and rectangles. The symbols in cross remind for their form and execution to those that were used the coast architecture of Viru.

The cruciform motives are identical to those of the side walls on the church in La Jalca, which, according to the local tradition, would have been raised by the mythical Juan Oso, or "small bear", fruit of the relationship between a bear and a peasant kidnapped by the animal.

The intimate affiliation of the cruciform symbol in the church of La Jalca allows to infer that their builders preserved some archaeological walls, probably for the fact that these were going to be decorated by the maximum emblem of Christianity.

The mausoleums of Chachapoyas do not present Inca cultural influences, but they are relatively late in the chronological chart of Peruvian archaeology, as it was already estimated by the married couple Reichlen (1950), they might date of the 14th century A.C. They are connected, certainly, with the funeral architecture known like chullpa, of wide diffusion in the ancient Peru during the period Tiahuanaco-Huari (around 1000 A.C.)

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