Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

phys.org | 5/26/2018 | Staff
MysticHeart (Posted by) Level 3
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Researchers in Peru believe they have traced the origins of the Incas —the largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas—through the DNA of the modern-day descendants of their emperors.

From their ancient capital Cusco, the Incas controlled a vast empire called Tahuantinsuyo, which extended from the west of present-day Argentina to the south of Colombia.

Years - Century

They ruled for more than two hundred years before being conquered by the invading Spanish in the 16th century.

The empire included the mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu in modern-day Peru—now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction.

Inca - Culture - Skills - Mastery - Engineering

After becoming fascinated by the Inca culture, their organizational skills and their mastery of engineering, researchers Ricardo Fujita and Jose Sandoval of Lima's University of San Martin de Porresit became interested in the genetic profile of their descendants.

They said the aim of the study, the first of its kind, was to reveal whether there was a unique Inca patriarch.

Paternity - Test - Father - Son - Peoples

"It's like a paternity test, not between father and son but among peoples," Fujita told AFP.

The scientists wanted to verify two common legends about the origin of the Incas.

Couple - Lake - Titicaca - Peru - Puno

One attributes them to a couple from around Lake Titicaca, in Peru's Puno region. The other identifies the first Incas as the Ayar brothers from the Pacaritambo mountain in the Cusco region.

DNA samples were taken from inhabitants of both places.

Years - Fingerprints - Descendants - Legends - Origin

"After three years of tracking the genetic fingerprints of the descendants, we confirm that the two legends explaining the origin of the Inca civilization could be related," said Fujita.

"They were...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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