Author of the Month

First report: Inca Gold
In search of the ultimate sacred treasure

By Javier Sierra

Deadly tunnel

The monk must have had his reason for stopping his guests from going farther.

Like his predecessors, he knew what befell those who had entered the various openings. Only nine years after Poma de Ayala published his complete work, in the 17th century, three Spaniards -Francisco Rueda, Juan Hinojosa and Antonio Orvé- looked for the entrance of the Chinkana at Sacsayhuaman and went deep into an opening in search of the lost gold. No one ever saw them again. Later, in the middle of the 18th century, two students tried again with the same outcome. They went down the same opening... and disappeared!

Nevertheless, that endeavor bore unexpected fruit. Days later one of the young men emerged from the floor next to the main altar at Santo Domingo church; dehydrated, with signs of dementia, and holding an ear of corn made of solid gold. The poor soul then fell dead from exhaustion. He died without being able to explain where he had been, and what is worse, where he had found this strange trophy. As it was, the impressive souvenir of this student, whose name or nationality no one knew, forever dispelled any doubt about the legend of the Inca treasure and the secret tunnels of the Koricancha, which in Quechua means the corral of gold.

Copyright © 2001 Javier Sierra

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