Researchers in Peru believe they have traced the origins of the Incas — the largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas — through the DNA of the modern-day descendants of their emperors.
From their ancient capital Cusco, the Incas controlled a vast empire called Tahuantinsuyo, which extended from the west of present-day Argentina to the south of Colombia.
They ruled for more than two hundred years before being conquered by the invading Spanish in the 16th century.
The empire included the mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu in modern-day Peru — now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction.
After becoming fascinated by the Inca culture, their organizational skills and their mastery of engineering, researchers Ricardo Fujita and Jose Sandoval of Lima’s University of San Martin de Porresit became interested in the genetic profile of their descendants.
They said the aim of the study, the first of its kind, was to reveal whether there was a unique Inca patriarch.
“It’s like a paternity test, not between father and son but among peoples,” Fujita told AFP.
Read more from source: Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors