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Studies in Exploration & Archaeology
by Vincent R. Lee, MFA, Architect
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Vilcabamba, Last Stronghold of the Incas

One of the first regions conquered by Pachacutec, Inca Vilcabamba witnessed conflict for four decades until the last rebels were finally subdued in this remote stronghold in the Amazonian rain forest

 

Vilcabamba, Last Stronghold of the Incas

Vilcabamba, Last Stronghold of the Incas

This is a concise summary of the history of Inca Vilcabamba originally written for inclusion in an upcoming publication by Oxford University Press titled The Oxford Handbook of the Inca.

Vilcabamba was one of the first regions conquered by the ninth king of the Incas, Pachacutec, on his road to empire in the mid fifteenth century. What little is known of the history of the area during the period prior to the Spanish conquest in 1532 is recounted, but because the invaders produced a rich chronicle of the province thereafter, we know the post-conquest history of Vilcabamba in considerable detail.

Beginning with the irony that their early imperial conquest became the Incas’ final redoubt in the face of the European onslaught, the nearly four decades of tumultuous conflict between the two adversaries is described in colorful detail. Not until 1572 did the Spaniards finally subdue the last of the rebels in their remote stronghold, deep in the Amazonian rain forest.

For nearly four hundred years thereafter, Vilcabamba lay abandoned and forgotten until the arrival of the first modern-day explorer, Hiram Bingham, the noted “discoverer” of Machu Picchu. His visit led to a number of follow-up explorations by an intrepid cast of characters whose exploits revived the province in the eyes of science and confirmed the history recounted in the chronicles. Vilcabamba was proclaimed a National Archaeological Park in 2001.

VILCABAMBA, LAST STRONGHOLD OF THE INCAS
$5.00 USD
19 pages · 1 map · 1 print · 4 drawings · soft cover

Take a look inside this publication

  • Map of the province of Vilcabamba showing sites mentioned in the text

4 sample images from this book
“VILCABAMBA, LAST STRONGHOLD OF THE INCAS” © 2015 Vincent R. Lee, all rights reserved