"Breathtaking"--GW Department of Anthropology professor Brenda Bradley's description of Machu Picchu, the 15th century Inca ruins perched on an Andes mountain ridge some 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru.
Dr. Bradley and a team of researchers will be the first to analyze the genomes of the skeletal remains from more than 170 individuals buried at the site.
“There is a longstanding debate about what the function of Machu Picchu was because it is so unique and unusual as an Inca site,” Dr. Bradley said. “It is too big to be a local settlement. And it’s too small and not the right structure to have been an administrative center for the Inca Empire.”
By sequencing the skeletons’ ancient DNA, the researchers hope to better understand the functional role of Machu Picchu and its residents, as well as patterns of diversity, migration and labor diaspora in the Inca Empire—the largest in pre-Columbian America.
To discover Dr. Bradley's predictions about Machu Picchu & learn more about the team's research methods follow the link to GW Today,GW's Official Online News Source.