The Miami Herald
December 6, 2001

Incan portal unearthed in Peru

 LIMA, Peru -- (AP) -- Archaeologists have unearthed what they believe is a doorway that leads to an ancient temple outside the former Incan capital of Cuzco, a
 preservation official said.

 The stone portal was discovered last week 13 feet beneath a colonial-era house located near the main plaza in downtown Cuzco, National Culture Institute Director Edwin Benavente said Wednesday.

 Cuzco was the seat of the Incan empire that ruled Peru before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. It is now the country's main tourism hub and a launching point for visiting the jungle-shrouded Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

 Benavente said the seven-foot high doorway is similar to ones found at the Sacsayhuaman temple that sits on a hilltop overlooking Cuzco.

 The portal ``could have formed part of a grand complex and is probably a doorway that led to the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman,'' Benavente said.

 Sacsayhuaman features a high, zigzagging wall that is typical of Incan stonemasonry, which produced structures made out of giant, precisely cut stones without using

 Benavente said the doorway apparently formed part of Haucaypata, what archaeologists believe was a sacred complex in the center of ancient Cuzco, near what is now the main plaza.

 Archaeologists have found a zigzagging wall similar to the one at Sacsayhuaman that is buried beneath Cuzco's modern-day buildings and that points toward the recently discovered doorway, he said.

                                    © 2001