El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ecuador seeks answer to riddle of Inca emperor's tomb

Does the final resting place of Inca Emperor Atahualpa lie here?

The mystery surrounding the tomb of the last Inca emperor - and its reputed treasure - might be closer to being solved.
If Ecuadorean historian Tamara Estupinan is right, Emperor Atahualpa's mummified body was kept in the lush, hilly lowlands, a six-hour drive south-west of Ecuador's capital city, Quito.
While it is still too early to confirm Ms Estupinan's theory, this discovery could shed light on a tumultuous historical period that marked the beginning of the Spanish colonial era in the Americas.
At its height, in the early 1500s, the Inca empire covered most of the Andes, from southern Colombia to central Chile as well as some parts of Argentina.
Inca emperors were mummified because it was believed that their powers remained within their bodies, which were guarded by guards and family members.
Atahualpa governed out of Quito during a civil war against his brother, who was based in Cusco, the seat of the Inca empire
Some 40 years after the death of Atahualpa the Inca empire had fallen
Shortly after defeating his brother, Atahualpa was captured by Spanish troops under Francisco Pizarro.
It is believed that Atahualpa offered to fill a large room with gold and silver in exchange for his life. The offer did not work - he was executed in 1533.
End of an era
The Inca empire began to fall apart after his death, leaving only pockets of resistance against the Spanish conquerors.
Archaeologists and historians have questioned whether his body remained in Cajamarca, the city in northern Peru where he died. No tomb was ever found.

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