An international and interdepartmental team of scientists has carried out radiocarbon dating of burials found earlier in Machu Picchu, and determined that this Inca citadel was built earlier than previously thought.
According to Heritage Daily, a cutting-edge method for dating ancient specimens helped make an unexpected discovery. Scientists have established the real age of the mysterious city of Machu Picchu.
It was built in Peru on top of a mountain range at 2,400 meters above sea level. The city dominates the valley of the Urubamba River. In 2007, he was awarded the title of New Wonder of the World.
It is believed that Machu Picchu was an Inca citadel and was originally built as an estate for the Emperor Pachacuti near the Sacred Valley. Historical records suggest that the great Emperor Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui came to power in AD 1438 and ruled until 1472. He expanded the borders of the state, conquering the regions surrounding the Kingdom of Cuzco. The latter gradually ended in the Inca Empire.
Based on this data, scientists believed that the city of Machu Picchu was founded after 1440 AD, possibly only in 1450. However, new research casts doubt on this hypothesis. Scientists have pioneered the use of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) at Machu Picchu, an advanced form of radiocarbon dating that allows human remains to be dated very accurately.
For the study, 26 burials were selected, found earlier in three cemeteries in Machu Picchu. Analysis using the AMS method showed that people appeared here already in 1420, and the city itself was inhabited by 1530 AD. Around the same time, the Spaniards invaded the territory of the Inca Empire.
The authors of the work concluded that Machu Picchu was founded 20 or even more years earlier than previously thought. This discovery sheds new light on the very history of the creation of the Inca Empire. After all, it can now be assumed that Pachacuti ascended the throne and began his conquests much earlier than conventional theory and historical records say.
"The results show that discussions of the development of the Inca Empire, based primarily on the records of the colonialists, need to be revised," says Professor Richard Burger of Yale University. "Modern radiocarbon methods provide a better basis for understanding Inca chronology than conflicting historical records."
According to him, Machu Picchu is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. Therefore, it is even surprising that no one has carried out radiocarbon dating here before.
And the whole history of this mysterious city (it still remains a mystery how this city was built at such a height, in an inaccessible place) of the city is based only on contradictory historical reports written by the Spaniards after this citadel was abandoned.
In fact, the first study of Machu Picchu, based on laboratory-confirmed data, is presented to the scientific community. And it immediately gave rise to a revision of the history of this city.