Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Bust of Fransisco de Orellana (Ricardo Algár/Adobe Stock) Amazon rainforest (William Perez/Adobe Stock)

Francisco Orellana’s Accidental Discovery Of The Amazon

Among the daring exploits of those early Spanish conquistadors intent on claiming the New World for their own, none are as dramatic as Francisco Orellana’s perilous nine month journey to the Amazon...
Will the Llanganatis treasure ever be found? (Mr.mach /Adobe Stock) Insert: Inca gold figure of a man. (Dorieo/CC BY SA 4.0)

Lost Inca Gold: The Quest for the Llanganatis Treasure

In 1532, following a lengthy civil war with his brother Huascar, Inca emperor Atahualpa was captured by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro who seized the opportunity to conquer the lands of the...
Street art illustrating what the Spanish conquistadores did to the Inca during their conquest and the Battle of Cajamarca. Source: shantihesse / Adobe Stock.

The Battle of Cajamarca – The Conquest of the Spanish and the End of the Inca Empire

The Battle of Cajamarca was a battle fought between the Spanish and Inca in 1532. The battle, which is sometimes considered to be an ambush or a skirmish, saw a small band of Spaniards led by the...
The Capture of Atahualpa. Juan B. Lepiani,  (1864-1932)(Public Domain)

God’s Devils: The Men Who Conquered South America

From the moment Christopher Columbus found land previously unknown to Europe in 1492, thousands of men came to the New World seeking their fortunes and for two centuries they explored and conquered...
The golden city of Paititi is hidden in the dense Peruvian jungle. Source: marmoset / Adobe stock

The Inkarri and the Golden City of Paititi: The Myths Born from Blood and Greed

On August 29, 1533, the Incan King Atahualpa , who only ruled for one single year, was ordered by Francisco Pizarro (1471-1541) to be strangled to death by a garrot. This single act martyred...
Part of the Cochasquí archaeological site. (Santiago Martinez/ L. Ortiz) A mask found at the site. (Alicia McDermott)

Cochasquí: The Immense Pyramids of Ecuador Provide Evidence for a Forgotten Civilization

The archaeological sites in Ecuador are often overshadowed by more popular locations in neighboring Colombia and Peru. However, archaeology enthusiasts have a wealth of options including more than...
Portraits of Huáscar and Atahualpa from Peruvian stamps issued in 2004. Photo source: Stamps Peru

The War of the Two Brothers: The Division and Downfall of the Inca Empire

On the 26th of July 1533, the last ruler of the Inca Empire, Atahualpa, was executed by the Spanish with a garrotte (a device used to strangle someone). This marked the end of the once mighty Inca...
The Funeral of Atahualpa by Luis Montero

The Search for the Tomb and Treasure of the Last Inca Emperor

Legend has it that a gold-filled treasure room and the mummy of the last Incan emperor awaits those who can locate the final resting place of Atahualpa. But none so far have been able to discover the...
Excavations dating to 2006 in Ecuador have unearthed the ruins of a large pool, called the Water Temple. Water was collected from miles away and brought to the site in a show of engineering skill.

The Inca-Caranqui Water Temple of Ecuador: A display of wealth and skillful hydraulic engineering

Water, essence of life and natural force sacred to the ancient Inca, was harnessed and controlled in a large man-made water temple in the late 15 th century. The pool, featuring finely carved and...
The Funeral of Atahualpa by Luis Montero

The Dramatic Life and Death of Atahualpa, the Last Emperor of the Inca Empire

The Inca ruler, Atahualpa, is one of the key figures in the history of the European colonialization of South America. As the last emperor of the largest empire in pre-Columbian Empire, Atahualpa was...
The Lost city of the Giants

Update on the ‘Lost City of Giants’

A couple of months ago we reported on an incredible discovery deep in the jungles of Ecuador – the remains of a massive 260 foot tall by 260 foot wide structure, made up of hundreds of two-tonne...