God I am sick and tired of people uwu-washing indigenous American history.
Did the Inca have exquisite building techniques, efficient messengers, and quality waterworks? Yes. They were also an expansionist empire built on violent conquest and the splitting up and relocating of conquered peoples.
Did the Aztecs have a gorgeous capital city built at the heart of a lake, with floating farms and towering temples honoring their fascinating pantheon? Yes. Guess what tho. They were also a violent expansionist empire who practiced ritual sacrifice of prisoners of war.
The Iroquois confederacy had one of the most unique representative political systems I’ve ever heard of, with women taking a forefront in most local government matters too. But their internal peace allowed them to redirect violence to their neighbors, as so often happens with tribal confederations, and they eventually violently conquered the Ohio valley and destroyed or displaced dozens of other indigenous groups.
Even my beloved Cahokia has the graves of sacrifice victims amidst its ruins.
A society should not need to be (and fundamentally cannot be) squeaky clean unproblematically stannable in order to be worth studying and remembering, and pretending that they were is no less disinformative than the European accounts painting them as godless savages.
Machu Picchu was built decades earlier than thought
The mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in southern Peru was built and inhabited decades earlier than previously believed, according to new radiocarbon dates of human remains found at the archaeological site.
The discovery that Machu Picchu was inhabited by 1420 — and possibly much earlier — has implications for how early the Inca Empire rose to power.
"Machu Picchu is among the most famous archaeological sites in the world, but until now estimates of its antiquity and the length of its occupation were based on contradictory historical accounts written by Spaniards in the period following the Spanish conquest," study lead author Richard Burger, an archaeologist and anthropologist at Yale University in Connecticut, said in a statement.
Those historical accounts suggested Machu Picchu was built between 1440 and 1450. But in the new research, Burger and his co-authors found that human remains unearthed at the site show Machu Picchu was inhabited more than 20 years earlier than expected. Read more.
They are found across the Altiplano in Peru and Bolivia. They can be cylindrical or rectangular, low or tall, and made of stone or adobe. The tallest are about 40 feet high. All of the chullpas have small openings facing east, towards the rising sun. Corpses in each tomb were typically placed in a fetal position along with some of their belongings, including clothing and jewelery.
The towers allegedly began to be built around 1000 AD and their use continued during Inca occupation in the 1400s.
Many of the tombs have been destroyed by grave robbers, while others were left unfinished. The construction of the chulpas varied with ethnic group: in general, those of the north Altiplano are circular and constructed with stone, while those of the south are rectangular and constructed with adobe. Some are unadorned, while others have intricate carvings.
The decorated ones often carry geometrical patterns and colors similar to the ones found in Andean textile design.
This is the Maiden of Llullaillaco, an Incredibly Well-Preserved Child Sacrifice from the Incan Empire around 500 years ago.
The Maiden of Llullaillaco, sacrificed at around the age of 15, was discovered with the other "Children of Llullaillaco" which includes a 6 year old girl and a 7 year old boy.
These mummies are so well preserved due to their position within a tomb atop a mountain within the extremely dry Atacama Desert. They are so well preserved, that their internal organs are intact, individual hairs on the arms can be seen and even one of the heart's still contains frozen blood.
The deaths of the three children occurred by drugging the children with alcohol and coca, then placing them in the tomb where they eventually died in their sleep. This appears to have been a very well prepared process, as hair samples dictated that the children had extremely rich diets leading up to their deaths. The tombs were also adorned with elaborate dress and trinkets.
The boy however, faced a different death that could've indicated struggle or a different burial process. The boy was very tightly bound, and had dislocated hips and ribs and it appears he died under stress as the clothing contains both vomit and blood. Suffocation is the likely cause of his death due to the way he was bound.
THE Inca Empire, which started as a small settlement in Cuzco, ended up expanding along the Andes and the Pacific coast as far north as Quito in modern-day Ecuador and as far south as Santiago de Chile, which made it the largest empire in the Americas at that time.
Ancient DNA Suggests Little Ancient Andean Migration
A recent study of ancient human DNA in the Andes of South America looked at DNA samples from 22 sites, dating between 7,000 BCE to 1500 CE. They found an unusual trend: except in the large urban centers, the genetic profile of Andean people remained the same over 2,000 years.
Somewhat surprising given the various cultures and empires that rose and fell over the time period studies. This is the region that saw the Chavin (900 - 200 BCE), then Moche (00s - 600s CE), Nazca (100 BCE - 800 CE) Tiwanaku and Wari (till 1000s CE), Chimu (900 - 1470 CE), and finally the most famous Inca (1400s - 1500s CE). The changing political and cultural forces did not seem to impact people's DNA, however.
Hey, I took a video!
The Inka : leader of the ancient people of Peru and more now levitates in the streets of Lima downtown
It's always good to find these street performers around so you can let your imagination fly a bit
Let's hope things get better for more of them to show up and bring magick to us
Have a nice day/night ☺️...
Scientists discover Machu Picchu could be at least two decades older than thought | Peru | The Guardian
A team of investigators used enhanced carbon dating methods to examine human remains from the site in Peru
A scientific discovery about Machu Picchu has cast doubt on the reliability of colonial records for modern western historians trying to piece together an understanding of the Inca people who built the site.
For more than 75 years, many historians and scientists have worked on the assumption that the famous site in Peru was built some time after AD1438. This was based primarily on 16th-century Spanish accounts from their conquest of the region. However, enhanced radiocarbon dating techniques carried out on remains have now found it could be at least two decades older.
“The results suggest that the discussion of the development of the Inca empire based primarily on colonial records requires revision,” said the lead author of the research, Prof Richard Burger from Yale University.
“Modern radiocarbon methods provide a better foundation for understanding Inca chronology than the contradictory historical records.”
The historical site is one of the most well-known in the world, yet its past and the people who used it remain among the more mysterious to western historians.
The ancient citadel would typically attract more than a million visitors each year. Yet developing an understanding of its detailed history has been made more difficult by huge cultural differences, such as a lack of contemporary historical records inscribed in a way that would have been recognisable to Europeans.
To tackle this, Burger led a team of US investigators in carrying out accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of human remains from Machu Picchu.
They examined the remains of 26 individuals and the results, published in the peer-reviewed journal Antiquity, strongly suggested continuous use of the site from 1420 at the latest – and probably earlier – until 1530. The latter date would roughly coincide with the start of the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire.
“This is the first study based on scientific evidence to provide an estimate for the founding of Machu Picchu and the length of its occupation,” said Burger, adding that earlier such attempts did not produce sufficiently reliable results.
There is some debate among academics about the relative values of historical and archeological records in developing historical narratives. “Inca chronology is a matter of debate among archaeologists and historians,” Dr Gabriela Ramos of Cambridge University said.
“Dating Inca sites is subject to speculation because written accounts and archaeological evidence do not always correspond. For decades, historians and anthropologists have relied mostly on written accounts and it is rather recent that archaeological findings, use of radiocarbon dating, and other techniques are contributing to, add to or change our understanding of pre-Columbian societies.
“The fact that very few Inca tombs have survived – because of looting – and, overall within Andean archaeological research, the fact that the Inca period is the least studied [mean that] we still don’t know as much about the Incas as we do about their predecessors.”
Dr Trish Biers, an osteologist at the same institution, said colonial records are important to our understanding of what was witnessed by the Spanish at the time. But that they were “heavily influenced by political propaganda, religious superiority, and the overall subversive voice of the Spanish Empire, which had its own glittering agenda”.
She said: “Scientific methods, particularly on human remains, can give us insight into what the people were experiencing – for example, diet, disease and labour – on both an individual level and population level. Which is pretty cool.” ...