The Sacsayhuaman complex (inside the yellow lines) seen from an aerial view overlooking the valley of Cuzco
Indeed, the Sacsayhuaman fortress at one time looked not only to be impregnable, as the Spanish believed it to be, but lasting through the ages. However, in recent years, problems have begun to arise surrounding the outer walls of the site. And because of a mounting problem recently discovered, the Ministry of Culture of Peru invited a group of Russian geophysicists in 2012 to perform research on the archaeological complex of Sacsayhuaman, namely on the soil problems of the former pre-Inca fortress. In the course of this work, interesting historical and archaeological data were collected and a lot of photo and video coverage was done and used for production of a documentary called “The Living Stones of Sacsayhuaman.” It was found that the interlocking style of the stones kept them from being dislodged during movement, such as during an earthquake, even a violent one.
The added value of the video format of these “field” data allow a rare understanding of the unique character of the building of the ancient Peruvians both form the scientific point of view and from the viewpoint of independent researchers. They also show how the interlocking stones that were used withstand earthquakes and even violent disruptions without losing their placement integrity.
The location of the soil samples taken
The stone quarries of Huayrange from which the huge stones cut and dressed for Sacsayhuaman were cut and dressed fifteen miles away across very hilly terrain
In recent years the employees of Sacsayhuaman archaeological complex witnessed a number of destructive processes taking place at certain sites of the complex. These consisted of the large cracks coming forth in the main walls, the shift of the stone blocks and recession of the walls. Such trend may lead to an irreversible and unrecognizable change of the complex which remains to be one of the most significant monuments of the heritage of the ancient Peruvians before the Inca. That's why this issue raised a need to conduct a research to define the reasons of these continuous destructive processes taking place at the Sacsayhuaman complex.
Despite the state of art technologies of the modern geology and geophysics, it was difficult to find the one which allows a deep look into the soil and to find out the clear causes of the adverse processes influencing the constructions of the complex. The fact that a considerable amount of the zig-zag walls have been effected by the soil movement, causing cracks to appear in the walls, is of significant importance to the stability of the ancient Peruvian construction at Sacsayhuaman.
Orange shows outer zig-zag wall sections where the fractures between the blocks are of significant size. Red areas are the sections where the walls were destroyed (yellow circle indicates the tower base for orientation purposes in viewing the site)
This down-warping of the soil is located directly under the foundation of the wall.
It is worth adding that this is not the only area of fissuring. There are several other locations where this is occurring.
The deteriorating stones at Sascsayhuaman
Extensive erosion of the surface was observed at a large number of Sacsayhuaman block stones during the georadar research. To clarify the cause of these processes the samples of materials which bear no cultural value were taken with the approval of the staff of the archaeological unit. At the moment of preparation of the initial report, comprehensive analyses were still being carried out in a number of Russian laboratories in order to obtain the precise information regarding the geological structure, characteristics and the chemical formula of the mentioned samples.
The preliminary report, however, suggests that despite the uncertainty of the precise chemical formula of the material, the conducted experiments demonstrate that the stone blocks in the walls of Sacsayhuaman may gradually dissolve under the influence of acidic environment, which often occurs in rain precipitations of many countries, which possess heavy industry where the production cycle with utilization of various acids is being violated, such as in the mining industry. If such is found to be the case in the area, then immediate measures will need to be taken to protect the Sacsayhuaman archaeological complex. That can be done with the help of modern methods, such as covering the stone blocks with a protective coating, etc.
As to the complex itself, there can be no question that Sacsayhuaman, and several other sites in the region roundabout, was built with a technology that was far beyond and ahead of not only the capabilities of those at the time, but even today, so many people in construction cannot figure out exactly how it was done. Yet, despite this unquestionable fact, so many Book of Mormon Land of Promise theorists, neglect to even consider the Nephite history of Nephi being shown how to build a ship, not after the manner of men, but after the manner which the Lord had shown him (1 Nephi 18:2); and work timbers, not after the manner of men, but after the manner the Lord showed him (1 Nephi 18:1), and that he was shown many things directly from the Lord (1 Nephi 18:3). Might not we consider that the Lord showed Nephi how to build in an earthquake threatened land using an advanced technology that only the Lord could have known then, and even for the next 2500 years? How on earth can one deny the Lord’s hand in this?