Pre-Incan Stone Ruins Found in Peru
Aug. 19, 2004 — U.S. and Peruvian archaeologists have discovered an ancient metropolis with five stone citadels in a northeastern Peruvian jungle that predate the Incan empire, Lima’s El Comercio newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The archaeologists found walls, squares and mausoleums in the Amazon region of San Martin, in a nearly inaccessible jungle area at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) above sea level.
The explorers, led by Peruvian-American archaeologist Sean Savoy, searched a 90-square-kilometer (35-square-mile) area in an archaeological zone dubbed Gran Saposoa.
“It is a tremendous city … containing areas with stone etchings and 10-meter-high walls,” Savoy told Reuters.
The 1,300-year-old citadels, located along the Huabayacu river valley, are connected by stone paths, Savoy said. He had to hack through jungle vegetation to reach the city.
Savoy said the citadels, which date from the seventh and eighth centuries, also had aqueducts and turrets. They are the most ancient citadels built by the Chachapoya culture.
According to early accounts by Spanish conquistadors from the early 1500s, the Chachapoyas were a fair-skinned warrior tribe, and tall. The tribe is thought to have been conquered by the Incas.
Savoy also told Reuters that his team also found an Inca settlement within the Chachapoya city complex that could prove that theory. The Incas’ territory stretched from Ecuador to northern Chile between 1300 and 1500.
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