A scientific expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society reported on Monday the discovery of the largest archaeological complex in the jungle area of the Department of Cusco, in Peru. According to researchers-American, British and Peruvian-The Corihuayrachina complex was possibly a fortress from which the incas resisted Spanish domination. The discovery was presented as the largest and most important Inca site discovered since 1964. The complex is located about 35 kilometers southwest of the citadel of Machu Picchu.
The National Geographic Society, which sponsored the scientific expedition carried out during 2001, released on Monday images of the various discoveries in the Corihuayrachina complex and a part of the documentary Mummias inca: secrets of a Lost Empire, which will be broadcast next May on its own television channel.
In the complex of Corihuayrachina – a Quechua word that means gold subjected to the wind to melt -, which has an extension of six square kilometers and is 3,300 meters above sea level, the expedition, led by the American archaeologist Peter Frost and the Peruvian Alfredo Valencia, discovered twelve archaeological zones.
As Frost explained at a press conference held at the Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and history, remains of circular buildings, warehouses, ceramic workshops, tombs, as well as skeletal remains and ceramic objects were found in these areas.
The Peruvian Alfredo Valencia commented that nothing can be assured and that it is very difficult to establish for now, as long as no more studies are done, if the place was an inca settlement of resistance. However, considered so impregnable the place it can be noted that it was so.
The Peruvian scientist said that, according to the research, Corihuayrachina had three stages of occupation: the first, prior to the incas; the second, which he called a late intermediate, contemporary to the incas (1400-1450), and a third that could be inca-colonial.
According to National Geographic, the city discovered is the largest and most important inca site found since Gene Savoy explored Vilcabamba la Vieja in 1964, in the same Cusco region, where Manco Inca established resistance against the Spanish.
Just last February, the discovery of The Lost capital of the last inca Kingdom, Vilcabamba la Grande, near Machu Picchu, was reported. This find is located about 80 kilometers in a straight line from the monumental ruins of the citadel of Machu Picchu. In this place were found the remains of the mythical lost capital of the incas, identified after four expeditions led by the Galician historian Santiago del Valle. In this fortress city, Manco Inca took refuge and from there led an insurgency movement against Spanish domination, until they were defeated.
Also attending Monday’s press conference were the executive vice president of the National Geographic Society, Terry Garcia, and the vice president of Peru, Raúl Diez Canseco, also Minister of Industry, Tourism and international trade relations. Ten Canseco appreciated the support of the scientific organization for its contribution to a discovery that will favor the increase of tourism towards this Andean country.