Machu Picchu was built decades earlier than thought

The mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in southern Peru was built and inhabited decades earlier than previously believed, according to new radiocarbon dates of human remains found at the archaeological site.

The discovery that Machu Picchu was inhabited by 1420 — and possibly much earlier — has implications for how early the Inca Empire rose to power.

“Machu Picchu is among the most famous archaeological sites in the world, but until now estimates of its antiquity and the length of its occupation were based on contradictory historical accounts written by Spaniards in the period following the Spanish conquest,” study lead author Richard Burger, an archaeologist and anthropologist at Yale University in Connecticut, said in a statement.

 

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