Vilcabamba: The ‘lost’ megalithic city of the Inca

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Vilcabamba is an ancient Inca City, and the last refuge of the majestic Inca empire until they fell to Spanish Conquest in 1572. It is one of the many ancient Inca cities you probably had no idea of.  The city was ‘destroyed and lost’, and it was dubbed as the Lost City of the Incas. There we find massive stone structures that defy logic and curious ‘knobs’ present on the megalithic stones that resemble those found at Ollantaytambo, Puma Punku, Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, and Abydos among others.

Interestingly, Manco Inca –the founder of the city—retreated from Ollantaytambo to Vitcos, and finally to Vilcabamba.

The city was lost. Around 1892, the city was rediscovered and identified as Vilcabamba la Vieja or Old Vilcabamba by three Cuzqueños Manuel Ugarte, Manuel López Torres, and Juan Cancio Saavedra.

The site was brought to public attention when Hiram Bingham, in 1911 published a book called Lost City of the Incas detailing the site located some 130 kilometers west of Cuzco. However, as detailed by different authors, Bingham had no idea about its importance and firmly believed that Machu Picchu was the fabled Vilcabamba, the lost and last refuge of the Ancient Inca.

However, this ancient Inca city is not only important because of its history. The megalithic structures present there to elevate the importance of the site incredibly.

Cut surface on many of the structures present at Vilcabamba sho NO signs of tool marks and no evidence of bronze chisels possibly used during its construction.

This leads us to ask the most important and difficult question: How were these massive stone blocks made?

Furthermore, at Vilcabamba’s enigmatic shaped stones we see mysterious ‘knobs’ which are present in countless other ancient sites around the globe.

These ‘knobs’ remain a profound mystery for scholars who are still unable to explain what they are.

Could these curious ‘knobs’ be evidence of a technology that predates the Inca?

Yes, of course they could be, but in order to come to that conclusion we need to dig deeper and explore further.

It cannot be a coincidence that similar structures with these ‘knobs’ are found in sites such as Puma Punku, Ollantaytambo, in the Americas.

Vilcabamba Archaeological site Nusta Hispana. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

They are also present in Turkey and Egypt.

This means that whatever these knobs were, ancient cultures all around the globe knew how to create them. Their exact purpose? We don’t know. But they surely must have been important because they are present on some of the most important and enigmatic sites on the surface of the planet. Ollantaytambo, Puma Punku, Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, Abydos, Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and even at the Pyramid of Menkaure. What do all of these sites have in common? They are MEGALITHIC sites were some of the largest and perfectly fitted stones are located. Coincidence?

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Ivan is editor-in-chief at, he also writes for Universe Explorers. You may have seen him appear on the Discovery and History Channel.


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