Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-mpxzb Total loading time: 0.256 Render date: 2023-01-27T07:02:35.540Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue false

Article contents

New AMS dates for Machu Picchu: results and implications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2021

Richard L. Burger*
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Yale University, USA
Lucy C. Salazar
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Yale University, USA
Jason Nesbitt
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, USA
Eden Washburn
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Cruz, USA
Lars Fehren-Schmitz
Affiliation:
Anthropology Department and UCSC Paleogenomics Lab, University of California, USA
*
*Author for correspondence ✉ richard.burger@yale.edu

Abstract

Machu Picchu, in Cuzco, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in South America. The precise dating of the monumental complex, however, relies largely on documentary sources. Samples of bone and teeth from individuals buried in caves at four cemeteries around Machu Picchu form the basis for a new programme of AMS radiocarbon-dating. The results show that the site was occupied from c. AD 1420–1532, with activity beginning two decades earlier than suggested by the textual sources that associate the site with Emperor Pachacuti's rise to power in AD 1438. The new AMS dates—the first large set published for Machu Picchu—therefore have implications for the wider understanding of Inca chronology.

Type
Research Article
Information
Antiquity , Volume 95 , Issue 383 , October 2021 , pp. 1265 - 1279
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Antiquity Publications Ltd.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Andrushko, V.A. & Torres, E.. 2011. Skeletal evidence for Inca warfare from the Cuzco region of Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146: 361–72. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.21574CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bauer, B.S. 1999. The early ceramics of the Inca heartland (Fieldiana Anthropology 31). Chicago (IL): Field Museum of Natural History. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.3325Google Scholar
Berger, R., Chohfi, R., Valencia, A., Yepez, W. & Fernandez, O.. 1988. Radiocarbon dating Machu Picchu, Peru. Antiquity 62: 707–10. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00075116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beverly, R.K., Beaumont, W., Tauz, D., Ormsby, K.M., von Reden, K.F., Santos, G.M. & Southon, J.R.. 2010. The Keck Carbon Cycle AMS Laboratory, University of California, Irvine: Status Report. Radiocarbon 52: 301309. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033822200045343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bingham, H. 1930. Machu Picchu: a citadel of the Incas. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Bingham, H. 1948. Lost city of the Incas. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce.Google Scholar
Burger, R.L. 2007. The archaeology of Inka power: concluding thoughts, in Burger, R.L., Morris, C. & Matos, R. (ed.) Variations in the expressions of Inka power: 425–39. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.Google Scholar
Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C.. 1993. Machu Picchu rediscovered: the royal estate in the clouds forest. Discovery 24(2): 2025.Google Scholar
Burger, R.L., Lee-Thorpe, J. & van der Merwe, N.. 2003. Rite and crop in the Inca state revisited: an isotopic perspective from Machu Picchu and beyond, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) The 1912 Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition collections from Machu Picchu: human and animal remains (Yale University Publications in Anthropology 85): 119–38. New Haven (CT): Peabody Museum of Natural History.Google Scholar
Covey, R.A. 2006. Chronology, succession and sovereignty: the politics of Inka historiography and its modern interpretation. Comparative Studies in Society and History 48: 169–99. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0010417506000077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Covey, R.A. 2018. Archaeology and Inka origins. Journal of Archaeological Research 26: 253304. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10814-017-9110-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D'Altroy, T. 2014. The Incas (2nd edition). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
D'Altroy, T., William, V. & Lorandi, A.M.. 2007. The Inkas in the southlands, in Burger, R., Morris, C. & Matos, R. (ed.) Variations in the expression of power: 85133. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.Google Scholar
Eaton, G.F. 1916. The collection of osteological material from Machu Picchu. New Haven (CT): Tuttle, Moorehouse & Taylor.Google Scholar
Forst, J., Burger, R.L., Salazar, L.C., Bradley, B.J., Krause, J. & Fehren-Schmitz, L.. 2019. The population genetics of Machu Picchu: preliminary results. Paper presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, New Mexico.Google Scholar
Glave, L.M. & Remy, M.I.. 1983. Estructura agrarian y vida rural en una region andina: Ollantaytambo entre los siglos XVI–XIX (Archivos de Historia Andina 3). Cusco: Centro de Estudios Rurales Andinos ‘Bartolomé de las Casas’.Google Scholar
Hogg, A.G., Heaton, T.J., Hua, Q., Palmer, J.G., Turney, C.S.M., Southon, J., Bayliss, A., Blackwell, P.G., Boswijk, G., Ramsey, C.B. & Pearson, C.. 2020. SHCal20 Southern Hemisphere calibration, 0–55 000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 62: 759–78. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marsh, E., Kidd, R., Ogburn, D. & Daran, V.. 2017. Dating the expansion of the Inca Empire: Bayesian models from Ecuador and Argentina. Radiocarbon 59: 117–40. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2016.118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marsh, E.J., Bruno, M.C., Fritz, S.C., Baker, P., Capriles, J.M. & Hastorf, C.A.. 2018. IntCal, SHCal, or a mixed curve? Choosing a 14C calibration curve for archaeological and paleoenvironmental records from tropical South America. Radiocarbon 60: 925–40. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2018.16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, G.R. 2003. Food for the dead, tools for the afterlife, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) The 1912 Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition collections from Machu Picchu: human and animal remains: 163. New Haven (CT): Peabody Museum of Natural History.Google Scholar
Nair, S. 2015. At home with the Sapa Inca: architecture, space and legacy at Chinchero. Austin: University of Texas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Niles, S. 2004. The nature of Inca royal estates, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) Machu Picchu: unveiling the mystery of the Incas: 4968. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Niles, S. 2015. Considering Inka royal estates: architecture, economy, history, in Shimada, I. (ed.) The Inka Empire: a multidisciplinary approach: 233–46. Austin: University of Texas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ogburn, D. 2012. Reconceiving the chronology of Inca imperial expansion. Radiocarbon 54: 219–37. https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i2.16014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quave, K.E. 2018. Royal estates and imperial centers in the Cuzco region, in Alconini, S. & Covey, R.A. (ed.) The Oxford handbook of the Incas: 101–18. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190219352.013.41Google Scholar
Quave, K.E., Covey, R.A. & Durand, K.X.. 2018. Archaeological investigations at Yunkaray (Cuzco, Peru): reconstructing the rise and fall of an early Inca rival (AD 1050–1450). Journal of Field Archaeology 43: 332–43. https://doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2018.1456839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pärssinen, M. 2015. Collasuyu of the Inka state, in Shimada, I. (ed.) The Inka Empire: a multidisciplinary approach: 265–85. Austin: University of Texas Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reimer, P.J. et al. 2020. The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere radiocarbon age calibration curve (0–55 cal kBP). Radiocarbon 62: 725–57. doi:10.1017/RDC.2020.41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rowe, J.H. 1945. Absolute chronology in the Andean area. American Antiquity 10: 265–84. https://doi.org/10.2307/275130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rowe, J.H. 1982. Inca policies and institutions relating to the cultural unification of the empire, in Collier, G., Rosaldo, R. & Wirth, J. (ed.) The Inca and Aztec states, 1400–1800: anthropology and history: 93118. New York: Academic. https://doi.org/10.2307/275130Google Scholar
Rowe, J.H. 1990. Machu Picchu a la luz de documentos del siglo XVI. Histórica 14: 139–54.Google Scholar
Salazar, L.C. 2001. Ritual, politics, death and power at Machu Picchu. Unpublished MA dissertation, Yale University.Google Scholar
Salazar, L.C. 2004. Machu Picchu: mysterious royal estate in the cloud forest, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) Machu Picchu: unveiling the mystery of the Incas: 2147. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Salazar, L.C. 2007. Machu Picchu's silent majority: a consideration of the Inca cemeteries, in Burger, R.L., Matos, R. & Morris, C. (ed.) Variations in the expression of Inca power: 165–84. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research and Library.Google Scholar
Salazar, L.C. & Burger, R.L.. 2004. The life and style of the rich and famous: luxury and daily life in the households of Machu Picchu's elite, in Evans, S. & Pillsbury, J. (ed.) Palaces of the ancient New World: form, function and meaning: 325–37. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research and Library.Google Scholar
Salazar, L.C. & Burger, R.L.. 2016. The Machu Picchu solution: a new approach to cultural patrimony disputes, in Underhill, A. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) Finding solutions for protecting and sharing archaeological heritage resources: 87102. New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20255-6_7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salazar, L.C. & Burger, R.L.. 2018. Reinventing the Incas in contemporary Cuzco: the cases of Inti Raymi and Machu Picchu, in Alconini, S. & Covey, R.A. (ed.) The Oxford handbook of the Incas: 807–28. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Turner, B.L., Kamenov, G.D., Kingston, J.D. & Armelagos, G.J.. 2009. Insights into immigration and social class at Machu Picchu, Peru based on oxygen, strontium, and lead isotopic analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 36: 317–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valencia, A. 2004. Recent archaeological investigations at Machu Picchu, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) Machu Picchu: unveiling the mystery of the Incas: 7182. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Verano, J.W. 2003. Human skeletal remains from Machu Picchu: a re-examination of the Yale Peabody museum collections, in Burger, R.L. & Salazar, L.C. (ed.) The 1912 Yale Peruvian Scientific Expedition collections from Machu Picchu: human and animal remains: 65117. New Haven (CT): Peabody Museum of Natural History.Google Scholar
Wright, K., Valencia, A., Wright, R. & McEwan, G.. 2000. Machu Picchu: a civil engineering marvel. New York City: ASCE. https://doi.org/10.1061/9780784404447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ziółkowski, M., Bastante Abhuhadba, J., Hogg, A., Sieczkowska, D., Rakowski, A., Pawlyta, J. & Manning, S.. 2020. When did the Incas build Machu Picchu and its satellite sites? New approaches based on radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 63: 1133–48. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: PDF

Burger et al. supplementary material

Burger et al. supplementary material

Download Burger et al. supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 1 MB
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

New AMS dates for Machu Picchu: results and implications
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

New AMS dates for Machu Picchu: results and implications
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

New AMS dates for Machu Picchu: results and implications
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *