One of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Machu Picchu has been misnamed for 100 years, a new study has claimed. The symbol of the Inca Empire is located in the Andean jungle in Peru, South America. It is believed to have been built in the 15th century.
A recently published study has claimed that the Incas named the city Huayna Picchu. An account of the story was written by Donato Amado Gonzales and Brian S Bauer, and published inÑawpa Pacha: Journal of the Institute of Andean Studies† While Gonzales is a historian with the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, Bauer is with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
DailyExpertNews spoke to Emily Dean, a professor of anthropology at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, who explained that Huayna translates to “new or young,” while Picchu means “mountain top” in the native Quechua language. “Machu means old, so we call it the old mountaintop,” she added.
The report, which was republished after correcting several errors in the August issue, said the city was originally built in 1420 but was abandoned after the Spanish conquered the Incas. It was hidden in the Andes Mountains until American explorer Hiram Bigham rediscovered it in 1911.
The researchers looked at three sources to conclude that Machu Picchu was indeed the wrong name: Bingham’s field notes, records of visitors to the region, and documents from the colonial period.
Bingham decided to name the ancient city Machu Picchu, based on information from local guide Melchor Arteaga, a farmer, the report said.
Bauer then began his investigation and found that the name of the settlement was slightly different. Gonzales also discovered the same thing. So they looked at the maps and atlases printed before Bingham’s visit to the area.
They came across a document from 1588 stating that the locals planned to return to Huayna Picchu, the report said.
“While negative evidence has never been so satisfying, it’s intriguing that we don’t know of any reference to an Inca city called Machu Picchu before news of Bingham’s 1912 visit exploded around the world,” the researchers said in the report.
However, they are not proposing to change the name of the site as it is “known worldwide”.