Peru - Cusco's Sacred Valley, Part 4

    Andrys Basten, photos taken 5/22/97

End of day at Ollantaytambo

        Granary on hill
Granary on a hill

There are granaries like this, high or low, on every hill here.

    Click for any enlargements. This one is 138k, but isn't recommended

        Granite Monoliths

These are the six granite monoliths that form part of the never-finished (or, some venture, destroyed) Temple of the Moon. They're over 13 feet high and are usually described as rose-colored, but the sun at the end of the day is giving them a more golden look.   (125k)

    These large pieces puzzle scientists, who say that the stone for these is not mined in the valley.  Here's a closer look.

    A photo, by Martin Gray, of the stones from another perspective shows the terraces to the right of the monoliths.  This is from his 1998 Latin-America journal, a very vivid read.

A rather beautiful fountain with an interesting design on it.   (75k)

Re the stones above and throughout this site, Insight Guide to Peru says:
    "How they moved and fitted the stones remains a mystery. Rollers and pulleys have been proposed, yet no theory explains how the combined efforts of 2,500 men - the number believed necessary to haul the largest stones up the ramp at Ollantaytambo - were simultaneously applied to a single stone."

    "As for fitting, a common suggestion is simply trial and error: stones were set and then removed; high spots were marked, as a dentist marks a filling; adjoining faces were then smoothed, and the process repeated, until the stones fitted together with astounding perfection. It sounds plausible - until one sees the stones; boulders so colossal [especially at Sacsahuaman, with its 250-ton stones] that the mere thought of lifting them makes one nervous."

    "A recent theory proposes that the cut stone profiles were matched by a large-scale version of the method we use today for duplicating door keys ." The book points out the Incas had not discovered the wheel so this is all even more impressive. "Andean terrain is the most vertical on earth, and the Incas' only draft animal was the small, lightly built llama, who sinks to his knees under a load exceeding 45 kg (100lb)" - not great for pulling wheels anyway.

        Outside sitting area
An outside sitting area near the exit/entrance with another view that reminds me of places Chinese.

The walls have modern (as opposed to ancient) graffiti carved into them.  I recently saw that another webpage identifies this as the "Temple of Water."   (96k)

Next, End of Day in the Sacred Valley. . .

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