Inca origins: DNA analysis supports a pair of foundational myths

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Manco Capac indicating his men the place to found Cusco.

Researchers from Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, who have been tracing the origins of the Inca civilization, have confirmed two of the Inca’s foundational myths through genetical studies on contemporary descendants of Inca emperors.

Two legends surrounding the origins of the Tahuantinsuyo, the territory dominated by the Inca empire that spanned from modern-day Ecuador to Chile, tell two different stories that place the origins of the Inca civilization in Puno and Cusco, in what is today’s Peru.

The first is that of the lovers Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who emerge out of Lake Titicaca, in Puno, while the other tells the story of the Ayar brothers who emerge out of the Pacaritambo mountain in Cusco.

Researchers gathered a bank of DNA samples from over 3,000 Indigenous peoples of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador and compared the genetic data with that of Inca descendents who still live in Cusco and in towns near Lake Titicaca, in Puno.

“We have arrived at the conclusion that Tahuantinsuyo nobility descends from two lineages, one from Lake Titicaca in the Puno area and the other from the Pacaritambo mountain in Cusco. That tells us the legends about the foundation are true and that they could’ve been a single scenario,” [researcher Jose] Sandoval explained.

Editor’s note: Read the full study

Read full, original post: Science Confirms Two Myths About Inca Origins

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