ARCHAEOLOGISTS were surprised when they uncovered a bizarre “entranceway” on what they believe to be the ruins of an Incan leader’s tomb.
The Incan Empire is considered by most scholars to have been the most developed in the Americas, dominating the Peruvian highlands until the last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572. Evidence of this advanced civilisation can still be seen today, with the most famous landmark – Machu Picchu – becoming a popular tourist destination. However, there is a growing interest in the entire Cusco Region of Peru, as archaeologist try to piece together this society that lived more than 500 years ago.
The series said in 2009: “Today, there are many remains of former Inca structures here and some of them are gradually becoming popular tourist attractions and the Peruvian government is investing heavily in their restoration.
“Reconstruction work is currently taking place here in Vitcos, studies show it was a large settlement inhabited by Inca refugees, who did not want to bow down to the Spanish subjugation.
“At first, he collaborated with the Spaniards, though he later took up the head of the resistance and fought against them, before being killed by them in 1544.”
The series went on to reveal how the strange rocks are fascinating researchers today.
It added: “The grave of Inca Manco is on the south side, where the river is called Pachamama.
“On the banks of the river below is a stone, in the Inca style, and on the back of it is a kind of entranceway.
“This is probably the tomb of Inca Manco, because this is where he was killed.
“All across the former empire of the Inca, we find numerous strange and mysterious places called Huaca, these were a kind of idol, which according to the Indians, had supernatural powers.
“In addition to artificially created shrines, a Huaca could be practically anything, such as a strangely shaped stone, mountains, springs, or lakes.”
One of the secrets to the success of this ancient society was revealed during the same series.
It added: “An inseparable part of the costume is a wool pouch for coca, a long tradition in the Andes, if there was no coca, there would be no Peru.
“The Indians liked it so much that they gave it precedence over gold, silver and other gemstones.
Coca can subdue hunger and helps people fight altitude sickness.
“Perhaps thanks to it, they managed to work as hard as they did 4,000 metres above sea level.
“In the time of the Incas, just as today, most were tied to the soil day in and out, and in autumn, even the leader himself participated in the cultivation of the soil.”