Skip to comments.Explorers Unearth Lost Inca Stronghold in Peru
Posted on 03/18/2002 9:15:42 PM PST by d4now
LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - In the first major Inca find in four decades, Peruvian and British explorers say they have discovered a hidden city, perched on an Andean hilltop, that may have sheltered stalwarts of South America's legendary empire as they made a last stand against Spanish conquerors.
Located on a narrow ridge around 11,000 feet up in Peru's windswept, southern Andes, the Inca citadel of Corihuayrachina is a mysterious gathering of religious platforms, funeral towers, and food storehouses.
British scholar and guide Peter Frost told a news conference on Monday he first spotted the ruins in the rugged, isolated Vilcabamba region some 300 miles south-east of Lima three years ago.
Frost said the site was the biggest of its kind found since 1964 and could have been occupied by the Inca when they took to the hills after the Spanish conquest. It is about 22 miles southwest of the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
The Incas once ruled a vast swath of South America stretching from Colombia to Chile, but Spain's Francisco Pizarro and his band of 160 treasure-hunters, using cannons and horses, brought that empire to a bloody end in 1533.
Some Inca, moving with an army of 50,000 to the more remote Vilcabamba area, held out against the invaders for nearly 40 years.
"It's a jigsaw puzzle. What we're finding are more pieces ... to get a better sense of what was happening in that area," said Frost, who has lived for 30 years in the Inca's imperial capital Cusco in southern Peru, gateway to Machu Picchu.
European diseases like measles ravaged the empire, cutting its population from an estimated 32 million people in 1520 to 5 million in 1548.
Frost said he found Corihuayrachina -- eyeing it from afar but not able to actually reach it -- when he was leading a group of tourists through the remote region in 1999.
Funded by the Washington-based National Geographic (news - web sites) Society, Frost was finally able to set foot on the cloud-shrouded site two years later in June, 2001, trekking four days along winding mountain paths with a team of scientists and excavators.
UNTOUCHED BY SCIENCE
"This was an area totally untouched by science," said Peruvian archeologist and expedition co-leader Alfredo Valencia, who along with local workers hacked away at the thick leaves and vines covering squat buildings and murky tombs.
But Frost said the scientists were still in the early stages of puzzling out who inhabited Corihuayrachina, how they lived, and why they chose to live in such an inhospitable place.
"If (the site) was occupied after the Spanish conquest, what will we find? If we find human remains, will they show European diseases?" Frost said.
Like most of the scores of native shrines, tombs and temples across this Andean nation, the explorers said the site had been looted over the years by local grave-robbers and now the graves were only filled with pottery fragments and bones.
But unlike Machu Picchu, discovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham, Frost said the recent find was not home to the Inca elite.
Machu Picchu has been named a United Nations (news - web sites) World Heritage site and draws throngs of tourists from across the globe.
Unlike Machu Picchu, only stone foundations some 2-3 feet high remain of the new find's structures, which were originally constructed with adobe or wood.
National Geographic is due to release a television special chronicling the Corihuayrachina discovery (news - web sites) in May.
It gives proper credit to National Geo.
Probably for the reasons people make the same decision today: to partially escape the tender mercies of an obtrusive overbearing central government.
Good deduction and very well said.
This page has an interesting fish from Florida
And 53 more votes for Al Gore...
It really was a very interesting FISH FROM FLORIDA
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Is this accurate? That less than 200 armed Westerners destroyed the Incas?
There is a reference that the Inca allready forsaw their fall..this came via "Astronomy" and Preist leadership...the Inca fought..but not in a unified mindset..too many believed the Prophecies..by the time of the "Vilicabamba" redoubt..too few remained..to turn the tide.
I must see it. Any help would be appreciated.
Yes. Do it to it! (thanks)
I don't think they were as 'detached' as we believe they were.
They did this..thousands of years ahead of the Egyptians ...choosing a more "Freindlier version" of passing the knowledge...one may comment..they were more succesfull than the Egyptians..as their languages and stories are still sung and danced to ..to this day...and we are aware that the Egyptian language went nearly extinct..that the message in their labour..has only been discovered..recently.
Critical study reveals man has learned this in seperate hemispheres..independently...some like to credit an advanced culture for spreading the news so to speak..but real archeology..reveals they got it on their own.
The basic needs of humans never change. What is it worth to you to know exactly when to plow, sow and reap your crop so you may have a successful harvest? 10%, maybe? And from there all the rest flows naturally.
I read that some time after the destruction of Carthage that it was reported that Plutarch spoke that he had read (from 'writings' in the ruins) that the Carthagenians(sp) had traded with nations across the Atlantic. Then we have the 'cocaine mummies' and of course, Solon's tales of Atlantis, as related to him by the Egyptian high priests, etc. I believe there was ancient contact between Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. ...and that this contact was broken numerous times (and memory of this contact was forgotten) due to worldwide catastrophies, famine and/or plagues. This is/could be why we have 'exiled' populations of humans of different races all over the globe.
I went looking for information on these folks the last time you mentioned them and found a little. Can you lead me to some detailed information about them? Thanks ahead of time.
And I thing you might find some more stuff or either the History channel or Discovery Channel web site. One of them had a special on the Mummies of the Chachapoyas but I can't remember who.
Date: Sat Nov 28 14:19:12 1998
Name: Keith Muscutt
Subject: White, blue-eyed, bearded Atlanteans, Martian, etc.
Comments: As the author of Warriors..., I need to make my personal position clear on some of the issues raised in this forum.
Despite speculation, sensationalism, and flat-out money-grubbing lies, none of the researchers I respect have ever encountered
anything in the Chachapoya area (modern or ancient) which suggests or requires the intervention of any of the following
in the establishment and florescence of the Chachapoya civilization:
Blue-eyed, bearded white men; Egyptians; Phoenicians; Martians; Atlanteans; Lost tribes of Israelites; Mormons; Irish priests paddling corracles; etc.
Indeed, all the scientific evidence suggests that indigenous, native-American cultures developed entirely independent of Old World
(or interplanetary) contact subsequent to the initial human immigrations into the Americas.
My views on this subject are clearly spelled out in "Warriors..." for anyone who cares to read them.
Personally, I remain open to the possibility of trans-Pacific and/or trans-Atlantic contact.
There is some circumstantial evidence to that effect which has been presented by reputable authorities,
but nothing which convinces me so far. I find it disappointing that so many people continue to invoke mysterious, unsubstantiated, and worse yet unsubstantiable, causes behind the development of ancient American civilizations.
In some cases these opinions seem tinged with a kind of racist assumption that native-Americans do not have the intellectual skills to develop high levels of culture.
Others are simply engaged in flights of fantasy. Feel free to continue discussing these issues here.
However, I hope some of the contributors will chime in occasionally to challenge irrational or misinformed claims.
Thank you. Your host, Keith Muscutt.
gnarledmaw, you may find these links interesting.
Yes I remember last time I couldn't find the eye-witness account of the hiker who described the blond, tall, white natives in detail who were probably the descendents of the Chachapoya. About all I still have is anothers cricket's link.
Could well be. I usually refer back to America B.C. by Harvards Dr. Barry Fell when it comes to this sort of find in the Americas. It's a great eye opener and starting point, and he attributes many of these finds to early "proto-Celts".
Thanks, I have the book. Also, I have Assyrian Tablets on order.
E. Raymond Capt
This is the one I ordered.
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