Scientists made the discovery of the settlement high up in the Peruvian Andes, around 13,000 with cutting-edge technology that has paved the way for several archaeological finds. The site is thought to be of particular value since it pre-dates the famous Machu Picchu, a well-preserved Incan citadel built in the 15th century.
Albert Lin, an explorer for National Geographic, along with Adan Cheque Arce and Thomas Hardy, both archaeologists, used a revolutionary technology known as LiDar (light detection and ranging) to expose the full extent of the city.
They found a settlement that rests in an archaeological zone known as Wat’a, translated from the indigenous language of the land to “island”.
This “island” is at an altitude of 13,000 feet, around 5,000 feet higher than the monstrously tall Machu Picchu, the crowning glory of the Inca civilisation.
It is thought to have been inhabited by the Incas before they built their city, or, inhabited by the people who came before, often known as the pre-incas.
The newest discovery revealed a settlement 13,000 feat high (Image: GETTY)
Cusco, the area of the settlement's discovery, is notably mountainous (Image: GETTY)
Mr Lin said: "It is very challenging to get there.
“You're at around 13,000 feet of elevation and its mostly open landscape because there's not a lot of trees around, so you're basically baking in the high altitude sun, all the way up."
"When you're up there, you have these grand vistas—all the surrounding mountains that are really gorgeous—and the site itself, which sits above that mountain, is a perfect viewpoint down to all the different valleys that are coming up as a trade route, maybe possibly even towards the site that would one day become Machu Picchu."
The city has previously been investigated using traditional archaeological methods, with scientists on the ground uncovering evidence of tombs, ceremonial plazas, residential areas and a large surrounding wall.
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Circular stone structures associated with Inca architecture were found (Image: GETTY)
By using LiDar, however, the researchers