It’s a pleasure to introduce the KORICANCHA & SAQSAYWAMAN PROJECT, an archaeological scientific project of great interest to the international community.
This project refers to the investigations and excavations that we carried out in the two major solar temples of the Inca Empire, such as
the KORICANCHA (actually the Convent of Santo Domingo) and SAQSAYWAMAN in Cusco (Peru) between the years 2000 and 2003.
The project is based on remarkable information gathered by early chroniclers, colonial historians,
researchers, and archaeologists of the XIX and XX centuries indicating that the two solar temples were
connected by a tunnel (CHINKANA in Quechua language) that stretches for 1200 meters, starting from the
Koricancha, crossing the entire city of Cusco, and linking the most important palaces of the Inca rulers
like an umbilical cord. The tunnel ends in the subway labyrinths of the citadel of Saqsaywaman, which were
mentioned by Garcilaso de la Vega in his Comentarios Reales. In these labyrinths, the Incas hid part of
the sacred pieces and other precious metals that were preserved in the Koricancha and constituted the
fundamental aspect of the religion of the Tawantinsuyo.
Until now, these structures had not been documented or scientifically investigated, and no rigorous excavations had been carried out in the Koricancha because the Order of Santo Domingo (owner of the Koricancha Complex) had not allowed extensive excavations within its property, which occupies an archaeological area of the utmost importance in terms of monuments of Inca and pre-Inca origin.
The agreement that we signed with the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CULTURE OF PERU and with the ORDER OF THE DOMINICANS OF CUSCO allowed us to carry out exhaustive investigations in the subsoil of the KORICANCHA through the application of high technology, Georadar remote sensing systems, and systematic excavations under the current floor of the church that corresponded to the main enclosure of the ancient TEMPLE OF THE SUN OF THE INCAS.
We also signed an agreement with the National Institute of Culture of Cusco that facilitated the excavations in the area of SAQSAYWAMAN, in the Chinkana Grande area, where the entrances to the complex system of Inca tunnels supposedly existed.
The results obtained from all these works allowed us to locate the existence of these subway structures and to unravel the mystery behind the tunnels.
This project is contemplated in the General Considerations of the REGULATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF PERU, approved by Supreme Resolution Nº: 004-2000-ED, as an Archaeological Investigation originated by scientific interest (Article 6-2) in the modality of Archaeological Research Projects with Excavations (Article 7-b)