Albert Lin, National Geographic explorer , along with archaeologists Adan Choqque Arce and Thomas Hardy, managed to draw a complete map of the city – colonized by the Incas and the so-called pre-Incas – thanks to a technology known as LiDAR, consisting of a laser that Scan the soil deeply, revealing the topography of the terrain, as well as any artificial features.
It is a settlement located in an archeological area known as Wat’a, which means ‘island’ in the local indigenous language, about 4,000 meters high, about 1,500 meters above the iconic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
The settlement had been previously studied with traditional archaeological methods that revealed evidence of tombs, ceremonial plazas, residential areas, and a large surrounding wall. However, by applying this novel technique, which allows you to see ‘through’ the bushes and cacti that cover the top of the mountain, archaeologists were able to discover many more features never seen before, such as typical Inca terraces or associated circular structures With the pre-Incas.
“In one fell swoop, we can eliminate that shrub and, suddenly, the whole mountain became this place in the form of a terrace, just like Machu Picchu,” Lin explained in statements to Newsweek.
The ancient city is intriguing because – like other places in Peru – the Incas erected their cities over older settlements. Moreover, the researchers claim that this site was, in a way, a template for Machu Picchu – which was built in the mid-15th century.
“We see it as an evolution on the road to the uprising of Machu Picchu,” Lin concluded.