Scientists have been trying for decades to figure out exactly when Machu Picchu, the city of the Inca civilization high in the Andes, was built. A new study shows that Machu Picchu was inhabited earlier than previously thought.
The Spanish conquistadors, who destroyed the Inca state in the early 16th century, did not find the city of Machu Picchu. The lost city, located on the top of a mountain range at an altitude of about 2.5 km, was discovered only at the beginning of the 20th century – the ancient city was stumbled upon by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. This place still holds many mysteries.
As part of new scientific work, scientists have made radiocarbon dating of two and a half dozen human teeth and bones found in the caves and tombs of Machu Picchu. The analysis showed that the city was built at least two decades earlier than hitherto believed by researchers.
As noted by Professor Richard Berger of Yale University (United States), previously it was believed that people began to live in Machu Picchu in 1450. However, the new analysis shows that the city was permanently inhabited as early as the 1420s. “Previously, we relied on Spanish colonial records when talking about the age of Machu Picchu, but the new radiocarbon analysis shows that the city was inhabited earlier than we thought,” explained the professor.