Pre-Inca tomb found at Salapunku, Machu Picchu reserve

June 17th, 2009
Ancient Tomb: (Photo INC-Cusco)

Ancient Tomb: (Photo INC-Cusco)

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Culture (INC) have found a pre-Inca tomb at the Salapunku archaeological site located in the protected area of Machu Picchu.

The Salapunku site, located above the railway line than today takes visitors to the ruins of Machu Picchu, is home to a bridges, an aqueducts and now pre-Inca tombs.

The discovery was made in the area known as Zone III and the tombs were located in a sheltered part of a rock face. The burial is thought to be of the Quillke culture that lived here before the Incas, as Quillke pottery was found alongside the bones, as well as fragments of obsidian.

Resident archaeologist Francisco Huaycaya Quispe explains that in the same location, 9 other burials were found previously but all totally destroyed.

Most interesting was that the burial was facing inward towards the slopes of mountain Verónica at an altitude of 2,631 meters above sea level. This mountain, originally called Wakaywillka and considered holy as well as an Apu.

The findings have been sent to a local laboratory for further study.

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