Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pre-Incan Temple unearthed near Cuzco

"Archaeologists in Peru have discovered the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and irrigation systems at a famed fortress overlooking the Inca capital of Cuzco, officials involved with the dig said Thursday.

The temple on the periphery the Sacsayhuaman fortress includes 11 rooms thought to have held mummies and idols, lead archaeologist Oscar Rodriguez told The Associated Press.

The team of archaeologists that made the discoveries believe the structures predated the Inca empire but were then significantly developed and expanded.

"It's from both the Inca and pre-Inca cultures, it has a sequence," Washington Camacho, director of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, told the AP. "The Incas entered and changed the form of the temple, as it initially had a more rustic architecture."

Archaeologists are still waiting for carbon dating tests, but Camacho said their calculations about the facilities' age are supported by historical references such as ceramics and construction style.
The temple lies some a little under a mile from zigzagging walls of the Sacsayhuaman fortress, alongside an enormous rock formation believed to be one of the fortress' burial mounds. "