The Lost City of Vilcabamba is without doubts, one of the great mysteries of the Inca’s Empires until our days. Hidden in the mountains is the last
great Inca city silently waiting to be found.
Around 1533, Manco Inca installed a rebellious kingdom protected by the mountains of Vilcabamba, while the conquistador Francisco Pizarro had already
conquered almost the rest of the empire.
After Manco Inca, Sayro Tupac Amaru and Tupac Tito Cussi resisted until 1572, when the Spanish troops finally invaded Vilcabamba the Great.
Vilcabamba “The Great” was forgotten and probably covered by the forest. When Hiram Bingham found Machu Pichu, he wrongly thought it actually was
In 1987 Carmen Martín Rubio, Ph.D. in American History and a specialist in Andean themes, with three doctorates "honorary" in Peru, discovered in a
library of the Palma de Mallorca (Spain), the chronicle of Juan de Betanzos, lost since 1607, entitled "the Illmo. and His Excellency Mr. D. Antonio
de Mendonça, Visso King and Captain General of His Majesty, in these kingdoms and provinces of Piru. 1551-1557 '.
English version of the book here :
Juan de Betanzos
Unfortunately very little is known as yet of this official, who has left such valuable works on the Indian traditions and language of Peru. He was a
Spaniards by birth and came to Peru at an early day. Whether or not he was still on the Island of Santo Domingo in 1539, as notary or scribe, is
uncertain. He was at Cuzco in 1542 and officiated as quasi-interpreter at the investigation of Indian historical traditions ordered by Vaca de Castro.
(See PERU.) Even then he had acquired a solid acquaintance with the Quichua idiom. He married an Indian girl of the Inca tribe and composed the first
catechism known to us in the Quichua language. The manuscript is now in the National Archives at Lima. In 1551 he finished his book entitled "Suma y
Narración de los Incas etc." (dedicating it to the viceroy Antonio de Mendoza), one of the most important sources for ancient Peruvian history.
Unfortunately only a part of this work is still known to exist. It embodies the earliest accounts of Indian traditions from Bolivia and extreme
southern Peru, and as they were gathered by Betanzos within less than fifteen years after the landing of Pizarro, they can hardly be much tainted by
contact with Europeans. Of the life of Betanzos, after 1551, practically nothing is known.
According to the information, the spanish chronicler Juan Díez de Betanzos, was asked to be the mediator for a peace agreement between the Spanish
crown and the independent Inca kingdom. Betanzos had knowledge of the Quechua language thanks to his marriage the Inca Pricess Cuxirimay Ocllo. For
those reasons, he took part in the expedition led by Pizarro in search of the Inca kingdom.
The search for Vilcabamba started in 1834, when Earl of Sartigni discovered “Choqquequirao“, later, in 1847 Françoise Angrand said that it was
the capital of the Incas of Vilcabamba. In 1865 Antonio Raimondi said that too. This thesis was disproved in 1909 when C.A. Rosemary proved that that
site is not Vilcabamba.
Gene Savoy in 1966 also said Bingham’s discovered ruins at Espiritu Pampa in 1911 were the remains of Vilcabamba la Grande. Many researchers
accepted this thesis.
More detailed studies determinated that Espiritu Pampa doesn’t match with the descriptions of the sixteenth century great Inca capital lost.
Amazingly, its location was specified correctly in 1908, in a map published by the Geographical Institute of Peru filed in the National Library of
Spain and has subsequently been instrumental in the investigation.
They seem to be really close, but the rests of a city that match the description of Vilcabamba haven’t been presented by any expedition yet, as I
researched. It’s important to take in consideration the blend of numerous archeological sites in the same area makes the labor of the researchers
According to this article from the spanish newspaper “El Pais” :
'We found the location of the city contrasting with data from the chronicles of the time and the realization of these field data, "explains Santiago
del Valle, technical director of the expeditions from 1988, 1999 and 2001. "We have been accompanied by an archaeologist at the National Institute of
Culture of Peru, Luis Guevara, who has certified the discovery and now what remains is to clean the area, about 15,000 feet, and start the scan you
will help the Peruvian Government '.
It’s been already few years since then, and no further news were found about the advances of the cleaning and scanning in that area.
edit on 18-5-2012 by Trueman because: (no reason given)