Hatun Vilcabamba 2017
Our project is an expedition of archaeological research and exploration to bring to light Hatun Vilcabamba, the lost capital of the last independent Inca kingdom, known by Spaniards as Vilcabamba la Grande, whose remains we found in an uninhabited place in the mountain range of Vilcabamba .
We want to complete the research work we have developed in that territory for twenty years. It is about exposing the house or palace of the last Inca, Tupac Amaru, its access roads and other structures of the lost capital completing pending explorations around the lost Inca capital.
Based on documents from the 16th century, we identified in 1997 the site of Pampaconas, the Inca citadel where the final attack was prepared for the conquest of Vilcabamba la Grande, or Hatun Vilcabamba in quechua. After this discovery we investigated in archives and explored that territory until reconstructing on the land the route followed for four days by the Spanish army, which in June 1572 conquered the capital where Tupac Amaru, the last Inca reigned.
Throughout these years we have worked together with historians and archaeologists from Peru and Spain, in collaboration with local teams and with friends and displaced experts.
Brief history of Vilcabamba
After the capture and execution of Ahahualpa in 1533, Francisco Pizarro controlled the greater part of the territory of the Inca empire and put Manco ahead. But the new Inca led in 1536 a great rebellion against Spanish rule and finally took refuge in the mountains of Vilcabamba.
In that natural refuge between the mountains and the jungle he resisted for thirty-six years an independent kingdom; governed successively by the last four Incas: Manco Inca, Sayri Tupac, Tito Cussi and finally Tupac Amaru, which was executed after the conquest and destruction of Hatun Vilcabamba, which was abandoned, covered by jungle and forgotten vegetation.
Hiram Bingham sought Hatun Vilcabamba when he met Machu Picchu in 1911. Later he identified Vitcos and Eromboni, renamed the Pampa Spirit.
But the location of the lost capital of the last Inca kingdom continued to be one of the great mysteries of world archeology.
In the sixties of the last century the North American Gene Savoy affirmed that Hatun Vilcabamba was in Spirit Pampa. But that place, in a low and easily accessible zone, does not fit the descriptions of the lost Inca capital, where, according to the chronicles, the horses could not reach, so the attackers had to leave them behind to enter on foot The last sacred capital of the Incas.
I directed sixteen expeditions of exploration and archaeological excavation in the mountain range of Vilcabamba.
In 1997, together with the Spanish historian María del Carmen Martín Rubio and the Peruvian archaeologist Octavio Fernández, we identified the site of Pampaconas, the Inca citadel where the Spaniards prepared the conquest of Hatun Vilcabamba; partially restored by Peruvian authorities in 2007.
From there for several years we explored towards the west until reconstructing the route followed by the Spaniards until Vilcabamba the Great.
Hatun Vilcabamba is at the same altitude as Machu Picchu, eighty kilometers in a straight line to the west; In an unpopulated territory protected by ravines and cataracts, to the northwest of the Apu Choquezafra a sacred mountain of 5,180 meters of altitude that is the westernmost snowfall of that mountain range.
The documents of this research and its development can be found in the book "Vilcabamba the sacred refuge of the Incas", published by Ediciones del Viento, or on our website Vilcabamba.net | Facebook
In 1999 we identified Marcanay, where the spanish troops rested the last night before entering Hatun Vilcabamba.
In 2001 we excavated and exposed buildings of the religious area of the lost capital with Peruvian archaeologists Wílbert Bolívar and Julinho Zapata.
In 2002 we find a large Inca staircase that saves 450 meters of unevenness in the mountain pass Dolores, on an Inca road to Hatun Vilcabamba.
In successive years we explored the area and had the support of Brewer Estrella Galicia and AECID, or Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. We began the excavations in the nucleus of the lost Inca capital with archaeologists Alfredo Candia, Fredy Ccopa and Hugo Hancco; And in 2008, among very dense jungle vegetation, we find a building that seems to be the palace of the last Inca.
When we read our report on the ecological and cultural wealth of that uninhabited area, the National Institute of Culture of Peru declared it in 2008 "Patrimonio de la Nación", Heritage of the Nation.
In 2012, with the Cultural Association Dacabalo and the financial support of AECID, we presented a plan of excavation in ten archaeological sites that we had identified. The scientific committee of the Ministry of Culture of Peru approved this project with the Directorate Resolution No. 606-2012, in which it was stated that "all data" indicated that we had located there the site of Vilcabamba la Grande or Hatun Vilcabamba. So it was necessary to bring them to light.
We were forced to defer to these excavations the declaration of "state of emergency" by the activity of armed groups in the western Vilcabamba district and in the VRAEM region, which encompasses the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro river valleys.
Now the security conditions have improved and we want to return there to bring to light the house of the Inca Tupac Amaru.
Our basic goal
Our basic objective is to return to Hatun Vilcabamba and to show archaeologists of the Ministry of Culture of Peru the archaeological sites that we have identified in these years so that a comprehensive excavation project can be developed and developed.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru, through Qhapaq Ñam, will begin in 2017 to investigate and excavate the western part of the district of Vilcabamba, beginning with the Dolores open, the great Inca staircase that we identified in our expedition in 2002. After which, his works to the west.
We want to be there to transmit on the ground to the archaeologists of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture all our information to facilitate their investigations and that as soon as possible a plan of comprehensive excavation of the lost capital of the last Inca kingdom is implemented.
We will guide a team of archaeologists in that depopulated territory to show them on the ground our findings and complete the cleaning of the vegetation that covers a singular structure that we believe was the house or palace of the Inca in Hatun Vilcabamba, or Vilcabamba la Grande.
Additional Objective 1
We want to explore a ravine of almost a thousand meters of unevenness through which runs a section of the Inca road to access the lost capital, which we have not yet been able to identify. For this we will have to use climbing materials and techniques.
Additional Objective 2
We want to complete pending explorations around the lost Inca capital to identify some structures still hidden by jungle vegetation, of which we have indications.
Additional Goal 3
It is necessary the dissemination of the results so that an archaeological investigation like this one has continuity in the time. For this we want perform an extensive photographic record of Hatun Vilcabamba and its surroundings, and make a video documentary for broadcast on televisions.
Additional objective 4
Publication of a book, in which this research will be summarized, providing documentation on its historical bases and the results obtained in the last investigations; along with maps and sketches in which all the available information about Vilcabamba will be updated.
Additional Goal 5
Cooperation with the population of Vilcabamba. Through book delivery to support the creation of the first public library in Vilcabamba. It will be installed in a building in the center of Pucyura, which was donated by the Galician NGO Labañou Solidaria to the Ministry of Culture of Peru for cultural uses.
There, the first Museum of the district of Vilcabamba has already been installed.
Additional Goal 6
To present these conclusions in the First Congress of Archeology of Cusco
Additional Goal 7
We want to promote this research work with the use of the new Geographic Information Technologies-TIG- applied to Archeology. For them we will carry out in 2017 the previous works for the realization of a research with technology LIDAR, of airborne laser. This allows to study the surface of the terrain through the vegetation.
To which we will destine your contributions
The first three thousand euros that we get will be used to cover the costs of a trip to Vilcabamba in July 2017, to accompany the archaeological teams of the Ministry of Culture of Peru that will begin to study archaeological sites identified by us in the west of Vilcabamba. In addition we will do a new exploration, we will photograph and we will film, for which we need more money.
If we get more money we can have a more complete support team and better equipment and systems for the registration of images, using a dron for recording videos.
We will also be able to publish a new book with which we will disseminate this research, with the aim of promoting a great project to value the western part of the district of Vilcabamba.
In the month of November we will start sending rewards to the sponsors. While the rewards that include the publication of new books or videos will be sent in the first quarter of 2018.
This is our official plaque with the logo of the expedition, which reproduces the silhouette of the snowy Choquezafra, which has 5,184 meters of altitude and is the main Apu, the most sacred mountain in the western area of Vilcabamba district.
This is the sheet with the logo, with a magnetic and bottle opener on its reverse side
This is the short machete.
This is the long machete with a leather sheath already used in expeditions. The gift will be a similar but new case
This is the wallet
Our planned schedule is to travel to Peru and make two expeditions to Vilcabamba in 2017. A preparation in the month of July; and an exploration in September. In October I will participate as a speaker at the First International Congress "The Inkas and the Tawantinsuyo" to be held in Cusco.