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Archive 3915

Article: 2003: SOURCE: EFE News Agency , March 9, 2003.

Ancient Tunnel Discovered in Sacred Inca City of Cuzco  

This find may form part of a series of galleries, chambers, fountains and ancient mausoleums located under the ancient Incan city of Cuzco.

A tunnel measuring 2 km in length, linking the Koricancha temple with the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, located on the outskirts of the Peruvian city of Cuzco, was discovered by Spanish archaeologist Anselm Pi Rambla, in the ancient Inca capital. The tunnel may form part of a series of galleries, chambers, fountains and ancient mausoleums which are probably under the city of Cuzco, according to measurments made by Pi Rambla as part of the Wiracocha Project, initiated in August 2000. The Spanish scholar stated before the Peruvian Congress’s Cultural Commission that he had discovered the subterranean passageway, which in his opinion, “may change perspectives on Peruvian history.” According to radar images obtained by Pi Rambla, the tunnel links directly to the Temple of the Sun or Korikancha, with the Convent of Santa Catalina or Marcahuasi, with the Cathedral or Temple of Inca Wiracocha, with the palace of Huascar, with the Temple of Manco Capac or Colcampata and with the Huamanmarca. All of these buildings are in a perfect astronomical alignment, which confirms that ancient Peruvians also guided their constructions by the location of the Sun, the Moon and the constellations. Access to a tunnel at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress was already known, but it was condemned in 1923 to avoid the disappearances of curiosity seekers who entered it, since its trajectory was unknown.

The archaeologist explained that this would involve a “Pre-Inca citadel”, belonging to a culture that has yet to be considered..

“We calculate that it would be some 100 meters under Cuzco…the great question is ascertaining what age it belonged to,” adds the archaeologist. In May, Pi Rambla will spearhead the excavation work aimed at confirming the location of the subterranean galleries which confirm the stories of chroniclers like Garcilaso de la Vega and Cieza de León regarding an underground citadel in Cuzco.