Machu Picchu was built decades earlier than thought

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Accurate radiocarbon dates of the bones of skeletons found at Machu Picchu in 1912 show the Inca citadel was inhabited by 1420 several decades earlier than expected. (Image credit: Courtesy Yale University)

The mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in southern Peru was built and inhabited decades earlier than previously believed, according to new radiocarbon dates of human remains found at the archaeological site.

The discovery that Machu Picchu was inhabited by 1420 and possibly much earlier has implications for how early the Inca Empire rose to power.

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