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Offline hardluckTopic starter
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« on: November 06, 2009, 05:50:14 am »
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Hello all

The treasure of Cusco

Ah! Cusco is one of those cities one is lured to with a deep history and high in the mountains which is known as the navel of the world in the Inca Empire. It is not a sleek city of glass and steel but a city rich in its past. No one can comprehend the atmosphere that sits over this small Andean bohemian city. For a time it was my type of city you can blend into the place among the colorful Indian street hawkers and tacky tourist shops. Cross keys pub and Paddy Flaherty?s Irish pub.

It is a City where you can find a strange collection of wanderers from all corners of the globe. Butterfly hunters, Backpackers, adventurers, treasure hunters and all manner of humankind wrapped into a 16th century Spanish colonial city. It is a city of mystery with every step you take as you wander through the city center you are walking in the footsteps of the conquistadors. And in the early morning light with the solemn church bells ringing their toll you could almost imagine yourself back there at another time and place.

In the Plaza des Alma?s the main square you feel the past and in places if you look hard enough you will traces of the Inca past. It is a fascinating little city with a myriad of characters and tiny back alleys leading to hidden courtyards of former Colonial mansions. But the one thing that dominates the city centre is the beautiful baroque Churches.

There is a treasure legend haunts the Dominican monastery Church of Santo Domingo. The church is built of top of the ruins of the most sacred temple of the Incas the Koricancha. This was the temple stripped of gold by Francisco Pizzarro and his men.

After the fall of Inca Empire Pizzaro?s son gave the ruined temple to the Dominican monks to build a church. The Monks built a magnificent church over the ruins of the temple, in which when visiting the church can still be seen to day.

There are many legends of ancient tunnels under Cusco and stories of people getting lost in the tunnels and never seen again. In early April one Sunday mass in 1620 a strange event happened during the sermon. A banging noise came up from a slab of stone on the floor in front of altar. The Ladies fainted and the men cowed in horror as they thought it was the devil himself trying to come up through the flagstone floor lifted.

It was a man all dirty, covered in mud babbling like a madman. He was half starved who had been lost in tunnels for days had found his way into crypt below the church and was clutching two small Gold Inca statues of sheaves of corn. This naturally sent the rumors wild in the city for a time.

The man who was in poor health from his ordeal died soon after. The monks replaced the flagstone and went on as usual. The Monks now left with these strange Inca Idols and the good fathers soon melted down the objects and made then into finely wrought gold crowns, one for the Virgin Mary and one for the baby Jesus.

One of the monks wrote of the event to the viceroyalty in 25th April 1620 that the man told him of a great treasure in or near Cusco. It is not known what happened with this correspondence if it ever came to anything.  The superstitious good fathers forbade the priest any more mention of this to authorities in fear their church would be confiscated off them.

The Monk like his predecessors; he knew what befell those who had entered the various openings. Only nine years after Poma de Ayala published his complete work, in the 17th century, three Spaniards -Francisco Rueda, Juan Hinojosa and Antonio Orv?- looked for the entrance of the Chinkana at Sacsayhuaman and went deep into an opening in search of the lost gold. No one ever saw them again. It was assumed one of those men came up in the church.

 Later, in the middle of the 18th century, two students tried again with the same outcome. They went down the same opening... and disappeared!
And so the story ends and history marched on by to present day.

Around 1982 a group of Spanish adventures had sailed to Peru looking for fortune and glory. Leaving their yacht in Callao they made their way to Cusco where they had intended to do some thing else. However they soon captivated with Cusco and heard of the legend associated with Santo Domingo church and became intoxicated by the story.

Javier Sierra late wrote about their search for secret tunnels under Santo Domino Church and under Cusco itself. To their credit they made contact with the church authorities to gain permission to search the church crypt for a proper search. The crypts had not been open for many years, some time in the past there was some emergency work done in the crypts to repair earth quake damage. There was a record of this pertaining to 3 chambers below the church where the repair work had been done.

The monks were afraid the Peruvian government would confiscate their church if anything was found. However Javier Sierra found out that the men had arranged through various sources with the Peruvian Government and Ministry of cultural resources to give a statement in writing that the church will not be taken from them.

The Peruvian authorities when proposed a brief out line of the project agree to the project under the guidelines of the Ministry of culture and Archeology. A Spanish archaeologist Anselm Pi Rambla was place in charge of the project. The Peruvians as usual had no money to fund the project and a financial backer was sought. In no time at all the men were flying back to Europe for specialized equipment and seeking funding in the United States, a Texan  Millionaire came to the party and funded the project.

Part of the project was to use high tech ground penetrating radar throughout Cusco to locate abnormalities under Cusco.  The second part was to explore the crypts under Santo Domingo Church to see if they can still find the entrance to the tunnel network under Cusco. While experts plotted along the streets of Cusco in various direction under direction of Archeologists. The team of experienced cavers and Archeologists went to work on the floor of the church.

The team was given only a number of days to do their search by the monks. There area they entered into the sub floor into the crypts was sealed off from curious onlookers. On their search of the old crypts the team had found a cavity leading off from one of them.  Work was cumbersome as they were worried about biological contaminates in the crypt there appeared to be a well or shaft that was filled with debris from the time of repair work. Do to cramped conditions and limited time they were unable to explore much more and there at first seemed no trace of the third crypt. The crypt was apparently sealed up to support foundations that were damaged from the earthquake.

The team on the streets detected several locations where cavities appeared however it was hard to determine weather these were colonial or pre colonial Inca caves or tunnels. But amazed there was evidence to suggest there deep down was some tunnels that connected the Inca fortress overlooking Cusco Sacsayhuaman.

The Project proved that there was tunnels of some sort under Cusco but could not confirm if they were Inca or Colonial Spanish. Much of the city center never had running water or sanitation. The sewerage system is by in general a compromise of 16th century architecture with the installation of more modern plumbing and drain age canals and tunnels.

It has been claimed by other sources that the tunnel entrances were after about 1900 were sealed due to safety concerns as some of early 16th century storm water drainage system is in a very poor state of repair and some sections of has collapsed reveling parts of Inca tunnel and the entrance at Sacsayhuaman the Fortress was closed because of deaths of several tourists many years ago.

The question remains is there a horde of treasure hidden some in an underground chamber far under the streets of Cusco?

When I Looked down from the mighty fortress of Sacsayhuaman to the ancient city of Cusco, with its brown hills that surround the city and billowy clouds that race over the Andes. I cannot help but think perhaps there is?

Hardluck  Wink



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Cusco March 1998.jpg
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sacsayhuaman-use-at-end.jpg
treasure near cusco april 25th 1620 bundle 327 v2 lima section archives of the indies.jpg


« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 07:07:40 pm by hardluck »
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Offline Sue
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 11:00:47 am »
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Hardluck, Your description of Cusco makes it sound like a great destination. I've always wanted to go down south. I'd like to have seen the gold sheaves of corn that the tunnel man found. I'd bet that hoard and other unknown treasures are there. Thanks for the intriguing tale. Sue

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« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 11:20:02 am by Sue »
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 11:17:24 am »
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Great story Hardluck you did a good job writing that one congrats we all live in dreams hehe some do come true too

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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 11:04:45 pm »
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Great story! I had actually heard the first part of the tale about the tunnels but not about the later expeditions findings. Fascinating place made more interesting by ancient mystery!

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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 07:26:27 pm »
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Hello All

Thanks for the comments.

If you love history, ancient cultures and amazing landscapes Peru is the place to be. Do you know there are more pyramids in Peru and Egypt?

Traveling in Peru is like riding a magic carpet in which you do not have to dream, because you are living in one.

And if you have a Bucket list this is one place that must to go on the list.  Grin

Hardluck  Wink
Here is a picture in one of the tunnels that leads into the lower tunnels

This entry was gained through the cellar of a 15th century house that is now use as a art gallery and a shop with an apartment upstairs in the old quarter of Cusco.

Also here is a map of the general area where cavities under Cusco was detected. the Tunnels runs under the most sacred Inca temples that were built over by the Church.

You can still see today parts of the former Inca temple that was once coated in Gold sheets inside the church itself.

Hardluck  Wink

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« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 07:37:57 pm by hardluck »
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2010, 11:45:42 am »
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hardluck entertains and enlightens.  A rare quality that he puts to go use by revving our motors.  Thanks hardluck.

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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 06:48:30 pm »
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Hello Rattlesnake Joe

Its my pleasure. I have worked and traveled in many countries so much I feel I do not belong to any country anymore. If I die tomorrow I can feel contented enough to say I have had more than more than one lifetime share of adventure and travel.

Its all too easy to have your life classified and placed into a box. If I can inspire one person climb out of the box society puts us in, to see the world outside for what it is they will truly walk the path to enlightenment. They will see the best and the worst humanity has to offer. The world with its history, nature and people is truly an amazing place.

And sometimes in our daily grind to eke out a living we some times forget that.

Hardluck

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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 01:08:57 pm »
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Well said Hardluck, and so true.

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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 05:52:27 pm »
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Hardluck did you ever find any treasure yourself?

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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 08:54:28 pm »
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Hello Salvor6

I am sorry to say I am unable to answer that question without impeding my current projects that are in negotiation with various parties. Dealing with governments and various other groups I cannot place myself in a position where innuendo or perceived comments that could be deemed incriminating that could undermine many years of resaerch.

Better to work smarter than harder.

Hardluck  Wink

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