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Underwater Archaeologists Explore Inca Lakes

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Machu Picchu lakesWARSAW, POLAND—Science & Scholarship in Poland reports that scientists from the Center for Precolumbian Studies at the University of Warsaw explored lakes within the Peruvian National Park of Machu Picchu. The remote, high-altitude lakes sit at the foot of the Salkantay Glacier, and are very deep, making it difficult to transport equipment to the sites and to explore them safely. Two of the lakes, Soctacocha and Yanacocha, are located near the Camino Inca, a trail that connected Machu Picchu with other settlements and temples. The researchers found ceremonial stone platforms at both of the lakes. “Sacrificial offerings were probably made from these platforms during rituals,” said archaeologist and diver Maciej Sobczyk. The team members, including underwater archaeologists Mateusz Popek and Przemyslaw TrzeĊ›niowski, collected samples of the lake sediments and used sonar equipment to create bathymetric maps. Future expeditions will look for possible Inca offerings left in the water and under the ceremonial platforms. For more, go to “Letter From Peru: Connecting Two Realms.”

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