Ancient DNA taken from bodies found at Machu Picchu has shown that the so-called lost city of the Incas was home to a multicultural population that came from all over the empire and beyond.
Researchers trace the genetic roots of 34 people who lived at Machu Picchu to different regions of the Andean and Amazon rainforests, and show that the people buried at the site were most likely servants brought from afar to work on the royal plantation.
Machu Picchu was originally built as a palace within the 15th-century estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti, and was mostly inhabited by servants known as yanacona (if male) or akla (female). Previous research has shown that these comrades lived a fairly comfortable life, as their bones showed no signs of hard physical labor or being sent into battle, while the lack of evidence of childhood illness suggests that they received good care.
The former can learn many interesting things from the Hungarian language video below From the large Inca city:
“The findings suggest that Machu Picchu was a diverse society in which people of different genetic backgrounds lived, reproduced and were buried together.”
– Writing researchers. Some servants were connected to ancient communities throughout the Andean highlands, while others came from further afield, such as the northern and southern coasts of Peru.
Six of the 34 mummies came from the Amazon rainforest, and researchers traced their origin to different lowland regions of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.
“Based on our findings, Machu Picchu was significantly more genetically diverse… than contemporary rural villages in the Andes.”
– Explanation of the researchers. Furthermore, the fact that so few bodies were directly related to each other suggests that people came to Machu Picchu as individuals rather than as communities or extended families.
“Well, genetics doesn't mean race or anything like that of course, but it shows that they had separate ancestry within different parts of the Inca Empire.”
– Study author Jason Nesbitt explained in a statement.
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In all, only two of the 34 bodies examined were related, and they were identified as mother and daughter. Both are from the Amazon region, although analysis of the girl's teeth suggests she likely grew up in the Andes.
In explaining their findings, the study's authors point out that Machu Picchu was a cosmopolitan mixture of cultures and ethnicities, where people of different backgrounds lived side by side, intermarried, and were buried side by side.
“Our genomic analyzes show this in Machu Picchu The living community was very diverse“And that their lives were not organized primarily on an ethnic or regional basis.”
– they write.
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However, although the study's findings help uncover the identity of the servants who lived on Machu Picchu throughout the year, the study's authors regret that
“Unfortunately, the analyzes presented here reveal nothing about the genetic identity of the Inca royal family and their guests, for whom the State Palace was built. These elite individuals resided in Cusco and could not live full-time at Machu Picchu or be buried there.”
– concluded the study authors.
source: Advancement of science