Archeologists Discover Pre-Inca Temple in Peru
An ancient temple discovered by archeologists in Peru may predate the ancient Inca Empire.
The temple found in the Andes mountains measures 2,700 sq feet and consists of 11 rooms that may have held mummies and idols, the Associated Press reports. It was found around a mile from the zig-zagging Sacsayhuaman fortress, and it includes ancient roadway and irrigation systems, the experts informed. They believe the irrigation system was built by the Ayarmaca, who lived in the area between 900 and 1200.
The structure is made of stone and adobe and contains a structure in the shape of Chacana, which is an Incan religious symbol.
Archeologists concluded the ruins are part of an ancient adoration center, but they are still trying to carbon-date it. Until now, researchers have only based their calculations on the analysis of ceramics and construction style.
"It's from both the Inca and pre-Inca cultures; it has a sequence," Washington Camacho, director of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, told the Associated Press on Thursday. "The Incas entered and changed the form of the temple, as it initially had a more rustic architecture."
The Incas, dominated South America during the 1400s, until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s. Today, the ancient Incan capital Cuzco is the main tourists' attraction, hosting the ruins of Machu Picchu.
A part of the newly discovered temple was destroyed nearly 100 years ago by dynamite blast at a rock quarry situated in the area, so the scientists were lucky to find it.