The Chullpas Towers at Sillustani near Lake Titicaca are considered by most academics to be the burial complex of the Inca and some other peoples. Sillustani is famous for its round towers, called “Chullpas,” but some are thousands of years older than the Inca and are polygonal in shape.
According to archaeologists, Chullpas are ancient funerary towers of the Aymara people, originally designed for noblemen or noble families. Chullpas can be found throughout the Altiplano in Peru and Bolivia. The tallest of them is about 12 meters high.
The most famous graves, however, are those in Sillustani. Recent research has focused on the connections between the Chullpas and the ritual roads in the area around Nevado Sahama, as well as on finding possible patterns within the tower complexes themselves.
The remains inside each grave are usually placed in a fetal position, and some of the items that belonged to them during their life, including clothing and tools, are placed next to them.
In almost all cases, the only entrance to the grave faces the rising sun to the east. The design of the Chullpas differs in different ethnic groups: in general, those in the north of the Altiplano are round and made of stone, while those in the south are rectangular and made of adobe.
Some have no ornaments, while others are covered with rich carvings. In Sillustani, many Chullpas have carved lizards in their ornaments, which were considered a symbol of life because of their ability to regenerate lost tails.
Perhaps the Chullpas were also used by the Incas after their conquest of Aymara. Very similar stone structures on Easter Island are known as “Tupa” and are often thought to have some connection with the Chullpas.