Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Incas Destroyed Own Site Before Leaving

Incas Destroyed Own Site Before Leaving: "Incan pilgrims smashed and burned their own temple, and a tower containing a golden statue of a king, rather than let them fall into Spanish hands, says an Australian archaeologist.

Ian Farrington from Canberra's Australian National University is excavating the temple site in Peru with Julinho Zapata from the National University de San Antonio Abad del Cusco.

The site, called Pambokancha, is 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) from the Incan capital of Cusco.

Incas systematically smashed pottery and burnt offerings as part of closing ceremonies held before they left the area ahead of the Spaniards' arrival.

Archaeologists had found other sites that had closing ceremonies. But Farrington said this was the most extensive, with 70 to 80 buildings containing evidence of closing ceremonies.

The Incas took away items from the site before leaving the area, including some bodies from tombs, Farrington said."