Explorer who found lost Peru cities dies

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Douglas Eugene "Gene" Savoy, an explorer who discovered more than 40 lost cities in Peru and led long-distance sailing adventures to learn more about ancient cultures, has died. He was 80.

Savoy died of natural causes Tuesday at his Reno home, his family said Saturday.

Dubbed the "real Indiana Jones" by People magazine, Savoy was credited with finding four of Peru's most important archaeological sites, including Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the Incas from the Spanish Conquistadors.

Hiram Bingham considered Machu Picchu to be the site of Vilcabamba after he discovered it in 1911 in the Peruvian Andes. But scientific consensus now points toward Espiritu Pampa as the Incas' last stronghold; Bingham also discovered that site but Savoy's excavation work in the mid-1960s found it to be a much larger settlement than originally realized.

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