Incas

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

Approximately 500 years ago, Spanish forces laid siege to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán.

Mexico City Marks 500th Anniversary of the Fall of Tenochtitlán

The events highlight the complex legacy of 300 years of Spanish rule

Incan qeros from the National Museum of the American Indian. The white pigment “often appears yellowish over time,” says Emily Kaplan.

How the Inca Discovered a Prized Pigment

The centuries-old history of titanium white

The 516 Arouca surpasses the previous record holder—Switzerland’s 1,621-foot Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge—by about 70 feet.

World's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge Opens in Portugal

The 1,693-foot overpass hangs 570 feet above a roaring river and wobbles as people walk across it

Chinchero is an agrarian town about 45-minutes outside of Cusco known for its striking landscape of snow-capped mountains and lagoons connected by a system of wetlands, as well as its Inca ruins and famous Sunday market.

The Uphill Battle to Stop Peru From Building a New Airport Near Machu Picchu

Opinions are divided in the agrarian town of Chinchero, where the airport is slated to open in 2025

Seabird guano covers a small island off the coast of Peru.

Ancient South American Civilizations Bloomed in the Desert Thanks to Seabird Poop

Prehistoric farmers fertilized their crops with the waste, which they imported from the coast

The llamas were preserved through natural mummification, leaving their colorful decorations intact.

Sacrificed Llamas Found in Peru Were Likely a Gift From the Inca

The elaborately decorated animals were probably buried alive alongside similarly adorned guinea pigs

An empty Machu Picchu pictured on June 15, 2020. Travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have decimated Peru's tourism industry.

Covid-19

Machu Picchu Reopens for a Single Stranded Tourist

Jesse Katayama, 26, waited seven months for his chance to see the mountainous 15th-century Inca settlement

A box of offerings included a gold band reminiscent of a miniature bracelet and a llama or alpaca figurine made of the shell of a rare mollusk.

Inca Llama Carving Recovered From Depths of Lake Titicaca

The well-preserved artifact was likely used in a sacred ritual

The Pachacamac Idol, a 1200-year-old wooden carving that held spiritual significance to the Inca

This Inca Idol Survived the Spanish Conquest. 500 Years Later, Archaeologists Are Unveiling Its History

A new analysis suggests the Pachacamac Idol, once thought destroyed, is probably older—and less bloody—than once believed

New Research

Research Suggests Machu Picchu Was Purposely Built on Top of Intersecting Fault Lines

It's believed the fissures produced chunks of cracked rock that aided in the construction of the city's tightly fitted stone walls

The 8-year-old girl lived in the Andes around 1470

500-Year-Old Inca Mummy Repatriated to Bolivia

Dubbed Ñusta, or 'Princess,' the mummy represents the first archaeologically significant set of remains to be repatriated to the Andean country

This geoglyph, previously identified as a hummingbird, actually depicts a hermit, a subgroup of hummingbird known to live in the forested regions of northern and eastern Peru

Scientists Identify Exotic Birds Depicted in Peru’s Mysterious Nazca Lines

The researchers argue that the non-native birds’ presence must be closely related to the etchings’ overall purpose

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Archaeologists, Tour Operators, Locals Raise Alarm Over International Airport at Machu Picchu

They are petitioning the government to reconsider the project, which is planned to be completed by 2023

New Research

Beer Fueled Diplomacy in This Ancient Empire

Analysis shows a brewery at a Wari outpost in the mountains of southern Peru strengthened bonds with friends and neighbors

Typical Tiwanaku-period offerings at Khoa Reef in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, including stone carvings and sacrificial animal bones.

Before the Inca Ruled South America, the Tiwanaku Left Their Mark on the Andes

Artifacts including gold medallions and sacrificial llama bones reveal the ritual pilgrimages taken around Lake Titicaca

What Llama-Poop-Eating Mites Tell Us About the Rise and Fall of the Inca Empire

Lake-dwelling mite populations boomed at the height of the Andean civilization but dropped following the arrival of Spanish conquistadors

Paolo Guerrero was initially banned from the World Cup for drug use, but has been temporarily reinstated thanks to some Inca mummies.

How Inca Mummies Helped a Soccer Player Who Was Banned from the World Cup

Paolo Guerrero failed a drug test, but insists he never took cocaine. Three ancient mummies are lending credence to his case

New Research

Inca Skull Surgeons Had Better Success Rates Than American Civil War Doctors

Survival rates among later Inca cultures was significantly higher. However, the 19th-century soldiers were facing trauma caused by industrial-age warfare

View of Trujillo between mountains and desert In Peru

Archaeologists Discover Site of One of History's Largest-Recorded Incidents of Child Sacrifice

The excavation uncovered the remains of more than 140 children and 200 llamas, who were sacrificed some 550 years ago in Peru's northern coast

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