Historically, Levanto, or Llauantu as it was originally named, was the seventh city of the Chachapoya, mentioned by Garcilaso Inca. Indeed it was one of the largest and most important curacazgos, or politically independant ethnic groups, that made up the chachapoyas Confederation. In the hills to the north of town were found two major urban archaeological sites and several smaller sites of lesser consequence.
The Inca Tupac Yupanqui conquered Llauantu in 1480, thus ending his victorious campaign against the Chachapoyas.Alonso de Alvarado colonized the region in 1536, and, according to tradition Levanto became his first capital.Alvarado established his new capital in San Juan de la frontera de los Chachapoyas in 1538, and Levanto thereafter sank into neglect and obscurity.
Church in main Plaza of Levanto
The archaeological importance of levanto was only discovered after the Reichlen Expedition of 1948. The Kuelap ruins of San Pedro de Washpa were found on three low hills a little more than an hour northeast of Levanto. The ruins stretched continuously for a kilometer north along the ridge, connecting with the Puma-Urko Ridge at it`s height. The site was naturally divided into three parts it is urban centers found on each hill. The lowest hill, the most impressive of the sites, was partially cleared, but most of the slash had been left behind. The middle one completely cleared by ax and fire, was found in pasture and for the most part destroyed. And the last one was still immersed in cloud forest, therefore probably reasonably well preserved. For nearly two weeks in 1948 Henry and Paule Reichlen excavated an undisturbed circular habitation at the last part of San Pedro de Washpa .
Part of the History of Levanto, The Inca Road and Ruins of Yalape
INFORMATION TAKEN FROM:
CHACHAPOYAS; THE CLOUD PEOPLE, by Morgan Davis
References: Garcilazo de la Vega, El Inca. Reichlen. Espinoza Soriano. Savoy.