Peru archeologists find Inca temple in Andes

LIMA (Reuters) - Researchers have found the ruins of an Inca temple built for religious ceremonies in the Andes mountains, at a park in the archeologically rich region of southern Peru that includes Machu Picchu.

The temple measures 2,700 sq feet, includes 11 rooms of various sizes and an area in the shape of a Chacana, an Incan religious symbol.

“This was an adoration center,” said Oscar Rodriguez, a researcher at the Sacsayhuaman archeological park that, like the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, is a popular tourist destination.

Archeologists said they will spend the next five years investigating evidence of other buildings near the temple, which was made of stones and adobe.

Scientists were lucky to have found the temple, part of which was destroyed nearly 100 years ago by dynamite blasts at a nearby rock quarry, Rodriguez said.

Peru is rich in archeological treasures. Until the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s, the Incas ruled an empire for several centuries that stretched from Colombia and Ecuador in the north to what are now Peru and Chile in the south.

Reporting by Maria Luisa Palomino, Carlos Valdez and Terry Wade; Editing by Dana Ford and Sandra Maler