After looking at the images, I do think the formation looks man-made but how they connected this find with Atahualpa is a mystery to me.
The article points to "artifacts" that have been recovered but there was no explanation about their purpose, how they were determined to be Incan or any attempt at dating them. Looking at the pictures of the "artifacts" included with the article,they appear to be extremely primitive in nature - more neolithic looking than pre-Columbian.
|Stone formation found in in the Llanganates National Park |
in Ecuador proposed to be Atahualpa's lost tomb. Image
courtesy of KNS.
If the structure is a tomb, it is of such monumental size that you would think it would have had to have been built before the Spanish conquest then repurposed as I doubt the activity needed to quarry and transport the stone then build a structure of the size reported would have gone unnoticed by the Spanish. Perhaps it was the tomb of Atahualpa's father, Huayna Capac, who engaged in a number of monumental building projects before he contracted smallpox and died in the epidemic of 1527. Maybe it is one of Huayna Capac's food storage silos that he purportedly built around his empire. I've got to admit, as someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest who has frequently visited Idaho, the structure sort of resembles a big potato cellar!