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It's pronounced "Sexy Woman."
by Katy Purviance on 04/17/10 @ 08:12:29 am
Categories: Field Trips, Videos | 339 words | 1092 views

Because (almost) nothing is more intriguing than ancient Incan stonemasonry (HOW DID THEY DO IT???), let’s talk about a little of the history behind the ruins at Sacsayhuamán.

Sacsayhuamán (also known as Saksaq Waman) is a walled complex near the old city of Cusco, in Peru.

Some believe the walls were a form of fortification, while others believe it was only used to form the head of the Puma that Sacsayhuamán along with Cuzco form when seen from above. Like much Inca stonework, there is still mystery surrounding how they were constructed. The structure is built in such a way that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the limestone blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward, is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes in Cuzco.

The Spanish harvested a large quantity of rock from the walls of the structure to build churches in Cuzco, which is why the walls are in perfect condition up to a certain height, and missing above that point. Sacsayhuamán is also noted for an extensive system of underground passages known as chincanas which connect the fortress to other Inca ruins within Cuzco. Several people have died after becoming lost while seeking a supposed treasure buried along the passages. This has led the city of Cuzco to block off the main entrance to the chincanas in Sacsayhuamán[1].

On March 13, 2008, archaeologists discovered the ruins of an ancient temple in the periphery of Sacsayhuaman; it is believed to have been built by the Killke culture which occupied the site between 900 and 1200 AD.[2]

Thanks, Wikipedia!

We’ll be looking at the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman during our Field Trip to Peru. To give you a pre-trip glimpse, I found this video taken at Sacsayhuaman. It’s got some pretty rad computer models (”Reconstrucción Virtual“) of what the site used to look like.

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