New archaeoastronomical alignments found at Machu Picchu

A joint Peruvian-Polish team have examined a previously unexcavated building in the well-preserved Inca retreat of Machu Picchu and found that the structure is astronomically aligned according to Prof. Mariusz Ziółkowski, Head of Pre-Columbian Research Centre at the University of Warsaw.

The team used 3D laser scanners to fully model and survey the building, named “El Mirador” (the vantage point), so as to get precise locations and alignments.

“Despite the difficult terrain we managed to perform 3D laser scans, which we then used to prepare a precise model of this amazing complex.” said Prof. Ziółkowski. Results of preliminary analysis indicate that it is a device used probably by a small group of Inca priests astronomers for precise observations of the position of celestial bodies on the horizon, against the distinctive Yanantin mountain peaks.

The Inca were well-known as astronomers who took careful note of the movements of the heavens in order to plan their agricultural and religious calendars.

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