Mysterious Cities of Gold - The Secret Inca City That Was Never Found
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Mysterious Cities of Gold - The Secret Inca City That Was Never Found

The Legend of the Incan City of Paititi is uncovered here. Here are some clues to its suspected whereabouts in the jungle.

Somewhere in the depths of far eastern Peru lies Paititi, a legendary Inca city that has been lost to mankind for centuries. The Inca’s purportedly hid their treasure in this hidden city, to keep it safe from the frequently invading Spaniards.

Is Paititi just a legend or another real city hiding in the jungle just waiting to be found?

Paititi is certainly the stuff legends are made of, just like the Greek city of Troy, which was just a story until Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist discovered it. The amazing city of Petra in Jordan was only introduced to the world at large in 1812, found by a Swiss explorer. Until then it had remained desolate and abandoned in the desert after an earthquake had devastated several of its buildings and all but destroyed its infrastructure. Machu Picchu itself was an astonishing 20th Century discovery.

Possible locations of Paititi

The word ‘Paititi’ in Quechuan means ‘Home of the Jaguar Father’. The Quechuan’s were descendants of the Inca’s and have told many stories over the years of the Inca’s troubles with the invading Conquistadores, hiding away their impressive hoards of gold, silver and gems before fleeing their lands in droves.

Archaeologists speculate that the city may lie in south-eastern Peru, secluded and hidden by heavy jungle. Other ideas include thoughts that it may be found across the border in Brazil or perhaps in north-western Bolivia.

In its time, Paititi was said to be a thriving city, located behind the shelter of mountains in a place with many running waterfalls.

The Spanish/Inca war lasted virtually 40 years and it was in 1572 that Spain finally managed to quell the Incas and take their last city Vilcabamba. After the Spaniards took the city, the stories about the Paititi grew. Many people have for centuries tried to find this city, but for hundreds of years not a shred of evidence was found. The 20th Century saw a rise in treasure hunters trekking through the Andes and whilst some had claimed victory, no satisfactory proof was provided to credit them with it.

The year 2001 was when Italian Archaeologist Mario Polia came across a Jesuit document in Rome in which missionary Andrea Lopez described a large city rich in gold, silver and precious gems. Written at some point in the 1600’s the document may confirm the existence of Paititi and also claims that it was hidden in rainforests and decorated by waterfalls.

Whilst this document was presented in detail to Pope Clement XIII, the Vatican has kept the location of the city a secret, if indeed it was included in the document, to this day.

Are there any other facts behind the fiction?

The Francisco Pizarro-led Spanish occupation of the Inca cities and their capture of Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca, saw a trail of Inca’s carrying a heavy load of gold for his release. No-one ever found the source of this gold.

The Andes is well-known for its richness in gold, silver and precious gem mining.

The Conquistadores were well known for their brutality and greed causing the Inca’s to immediately hide all their precious resources.

The Spanish omitted to document some of areas they had come across, including Machu Picchu, which is reason enough to suspect there are other cities hidden out there somewhere.

Paititi is said to be situated in an area of heavy, dense jungle and would be completely hidden from view, even more so now that jungle lianas and wilderness have now probably covered up all entrance points to the city.

December 29th, 2007, saw members of the local community of Kimbiri, Peru celebrating the find of large sandstone structures which resembled high walls. These covered an area of 40,000 square meters and it has been considered that these formations could have protected the city of Paititi.

Many other historically documented sources of the Colonial period (16th - 18th centuries) refer to possible locations of Paititi and to subsequent expeditions that went searching for it. Some of the more informative documents were written by:

• Juan Álvarez Maldonado (1570)

• Gregorio Bolívar (1621)

• Juan Recio de León (1623–27)

• Juan de Ojeda (1676)

• Diego de Eguiluz (1696)

For treasure hunters and archaeologists everywhere, Paititi if true, would be a find of truly magnificent proportions.


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Comments (19)

Wow! Very interesting! Nicely done!

Mysterious, lost cities are fascinating! This is the first time I've heard of Paititi - interesting topic to explore.

Excellent topic, I am always fond of old cities and its treasuries, such as Petra. Thanks

Fascinating article, thanks!

A fascinating post. Thumbs up Ann! and thank you.

This is great, I love this article! Have never heard of Paititi before and I do wonder whether it is real or not. I hope it doesn't remain a mystery - like Atlantis :D Buzzing up x

Very interesting and what a Facinating lost city. Ann, I think you and I should go look for it.

Ranked #4 in Archaeology

I'll get my Lara Croft outfit and you'll need your Indiana Jones hat and whip, shall we split it 70/30? (In my favour of course as I provided the treasure hunter guide).

Voted up. Excellent article

the jungles in south america are so dense that it is entirely likely that there are cities there that haven't been discovered. be interesting to find it, wouldn't it - especially since it could contain a treasure trove of artifacts that would give more insight into Inca culture.

well the rainforest is being destroyed at a pretty good rate, its only a matter of time, but really I hope it is never found and the wildlife that have claimed it will always enjoy it as their secret home.

A compelling read about the lost city of gold.

I had never heard of Paititi, but it sounds fascinating - and what a wonderful photo.

Wow! I had never heard about this city, until now. Machu Picchu intrigues me. So does Paititi now. This is fascinating.

I know others have said it above, but I can't help it - Wow! This is so interesting. The thought of ''lost treasure'' is exciting, but I think it's the ''lost civilizations'' which fascinate me the most; your description of ''behind the shelter of mountains in a place with many running waterfalls'' - so mysterious!

Ranked #11 in Archaeology

Great discussion here on a very interesting issue, thanks for the share. Magnificent research work, cheers.

Ranked #12 in Archaeology

So which one holds the more gold, El Dorado or this Paititi? Or are they both the same thing? :) Fascinating subject, and certainly one more to keep the more avid treasure hunters running around in circles.

fascinating, I have always wanted to know more about this subject. Thanks for the write up.

Very interesting article. Voted up.