The Living Stones of Sacsayhuaman
At a height of 3.5 thousand meters in the Peruvian Andes, one can find a fascinating city called Cuzco that was built during the reign of the Incas. Everything in Cuzco is a reminder of the Incas; from the ancient walls to the Quechua language still being spoken and the famous seven color flag that now flies in the central square alongside the Peruvian flag.
It is believed that the majority of Inca sites and constructions were built within less than a century. Even today, Inca constructions inspire awe among historians and architects. Some scholars believe that the Incas did not build all of the famous sites themselves, but simply took over places that already existed and used them for their own benefits. However, this theory fails to shed light on the biggest question: how were they able to build these breathtaking structures?
Sacsayhuaman is an impressive architectural marvel that houses three layers of zigzag walls made of megaliths. These large boulders weigh hundreds and even thousands of tons. Unfortunately it’s impossible to know with clarity what the site must have looked like originally due to the fact that a lot of it was deliberately demolished and used as a source of construction materials for the churches and private mansions of the Spaniards. Nevertheless, many believe that some sorcery had to be involved in its construction.
The precision and accuracy with which the boulders in the walls are fit together is mesmerizing and is unrivaled even today. It remains a mystery how the builders were able to transport such huge boulders and to fit them so perfectly on nonlinear surfaces.
The purpose of Sacsayhuaman seems to have been that of a huge complex where the Incas worshipped the sun. The buildings might also have been the dwelling places of gods, heavenly deities manifested and living in the material world. Many other hypotheses exist regarding its use, though. Some say it was used for storing food, others say it was a fortress. The rigid geometric shapes, the intricate system of water drainage and the megalithic walls that protect the hills from destruction are all evidence that whatever it was used for had to be important.
In the 1920s the local authorities decided to brick up the entrances to the caves that are found in the complex. Apparently a few explorers got lost in there and some were said to go insane.
Cuzco is surrounded by huacas. To the Incas, huacas were sacred sites through which higher powers were manifested. According to one chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, the huacas were any object through which the devil could communicate with people and deceive people into believing that he was god. Huacas usually contain a rock with mostly rectangular cuts and stairs in a rather chaotic manner, a cave that is cut with high quality and contains different compartments, and a small land plot with images resembling snakes.