Archaeologist Evaluates New Research on the Inca Empire

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Dr. Dennis Ogburn was recently interviewed by Live Science about new research on the age of the prominent Inca site Machu Picchu in Peru. An authority on the site and its significance for Inca history, Ogburn explained that “As we are able to revise and improve the chronology based on radiocarbon dates, we are coming to see that the Inca created and began expanding the Empire perhaps three or four decades earlier than the [historical] chronology indicated.”

Before improvements in radiocarbon dating like AMS, “we had little hope of refining the chronology of the Inca Empire because it was such a short-lived phenomenon in archaeological terms,” he said. “Radiocarbon dates from earlier research did not have the resolution that allows us to fine tune things like we can now.”