Archeology

A Piece of Inca Cuzco Throws off Its Covers

Wall and Stairs Found in the Main Plaza

As if a carpet, the pavement was lifted and set aside. It revealed a world of tubes, a webbing for a modern city, and under that another city appeared, a glory and a problem.

Inca Cuzco lies mostly concealed by the Spanish and modern city, but work on Mantas Street recently brought it to light. It shows a fine Inca wall with stairs by the side of what was the Saphy River that now flows in an underground channel, as well as what probably was the foundations and lower wall of the Amaru Cancha.

Bruce Bauer notes that this building was perhaps the last major construction in Cuzco’s center completed before the Spanish arrived. It was a monumental and notable building and was rebuilt over time into the set of building of which the Paraninfo Universitario with its arches is one part.

The sudden appearance of this portion of Inca Cuzco shows the majesty of the construction and design of the city itself and creates a problem for contemporary Cuzco. Mantas is a major street connecting with the Plaza, yet it is now blocked.

The idea is being proposed that the pieces of Inca Cuzco it covered be left exposed for all the world to see. This will require a rethinking of transportation and traffic movement in the city,

Jaime Briseño of the Arqueología del Peru site notes this raises fears and controversies about the privatization of Inca artifacts. A legal struggle may result from this discovery.

In any case, suggestions of the majesty and greatness of Inca Cuzco have appeared beneath one of its busiest streets and let us see and appreciate the wonders that may still be found.

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