As Machu Picchu is celebrating the hundredth year of its discovery, the mysterious ruins have baffled archaeologists yet again with a new mystical discovery.
A large, gold-coated statue of the Inca emperor is believed to have once stood in the ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru, according to a recent research.
Archaeologists assume that the statue was of the great Inca emperor Pachacuti and had disappeared before the American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon Machu Picchu in July 1911.
Among many mysteries that Machu Picchu holds, and many more awaiting a chance discovery, a lot of gold, silver and other precious metals’ treasure trove is also rumored to be hidden in this Inca city.
Such beliefs often attracted looters and treasure hunters who could have possibly robbed the gold statue, according to Paolo Greer, who studied some old maps related to discovery of the Machu Picchu ruins.
"According to old documents, it was last seen in Machu Picchu in the 1860s. Then, possibly around 1880, it fell victim of the local treasure hunters," Greer told Discovery News, referring to the statue that was never mentioned by Bingham.
A team of historians and researchers led by Greer in 2008 claimed that a German business man named Augusto Berns looted treasures of the city that may have included the lost gold statue, archaeologists proclaimed.
The ancient city of Inca Empire that lies at a breathtaking location, on a mountain ridge of Urubamaba Valley in Peru, has been attracting tourists and nature-lovers for long. An important cultural site depicting art and architecture of the Inca style, Machu Picchu that was built around AD 1400 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.