Archaeology

New Inca road to Machu Picchu discovered

By Rachel Chase

Specialists at the Machu Picchu archaeological park have announced the discovery of a new section of Inca road.

New Inca road to Machu Picchu discovered

(Photo: Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco/El Comercio)

Archaeologists have discovered a new section of Inca Road— and this one leads right to Machu Picchu.

According to Andina news agency, the newly discovered road is about one and a half kilometers long, and varies between 1.2 and 1.4 meters in breadth, depending on the terrain. The road begins at Wayraqtambo and leads up to a platform from which travelers can see parts of the complex at Machu Picchu.

Right now, much of the road is covered in vegetation and therefore difficult to sée. El Comercio reports that specialists are working to clear the road.

Fernando Astete, director of the Machu Picchu archaeological site, told Andina that “This road should be restored […] in a short time, due to its patrimonial value.”

Astete added that the road “offers an impressive view of the llaqta inka [village area] at Machu Picchu, from a different angle than everyone usually sees it, and could help to decongest the tourist flow at Machu Picchu.”

Who’d have thought that the Incas themselves would provide modern Peruvian tourism officials with a partial solution to Machu Picchu’s traffic problem?

Multiple news outlets are reporting that the road includes a nearly five meter long tunnel, still intact 500 years after its construction. Andina reports that the tunnel is constructed with the specially shaped rocks typical of Inca architecture.

“This is one of the best examples of Inca engineering,” said Astete, speaking to El Comercio.

Check out our slideshow featuring pictures of the new discovery!

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