Saturday, July 8, 2017

So Who Built Sacsayhuaman and the Other Sites in Andean Peru? Part II

Continuing from the previous post where the first of three possibilities as to who built the magnificent pyramids, fortresses, temples, palaces, and highways in Andean Peru, was covered.
Inca stonework: Top: Note the large pre-Inca stonework around the baseor foundation of three of the corner walls and the small stone sloppily placed in the areas above, the latter being later Inca work; Bottom Left: Note the Inca small stone work on top of the older, large pre-Inca stones; Bottom Right: Note the small stonework repairs the Inca made to the Sacsayhuaman walls

As stated in the last post, and in other articles we have posted regarding the lack of ability and time of the Inca to have built 25,000 miles of roads while involved in some 90 years of constant warfare, including a devastating civil war, not to mention the building of such magnificent sites as Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Pachacmac and the scores of other sites so many historians and writers over the years have attributed to the Inca during their 94 year of existence. To even suggest that they had the time, the skills, the ability, the knowledge or engineering expertise to have achieved such results that modern-day engineers are still puzzled over, is beyond belief.
More examples of the kind of repair work the Inca did on the4 walls of Sacsayhuaman. Note the sloppy and haphazard repairs they did to mend the cut and shaped stones that fit together without space enough between the rocks to insert a piece of paper--obviously their skills were far less

Continuing now with the second possibility of who built Andean Peru.
2) One of the known cultures that pre-dated the Inca—The Wari.  The Wari (Huari), an Andean people who were also believers in Pacha Kamaq, formed what was perhaps the Andes’ first real empire. From Ayacucho they spread out to eventually take control of the sanctuary of Pachacamac, during which time it became the most important religious center in all Peru.
Pachacamac grew into a large city and more temples and pyramids were built. Left in a position of wealth and power, when the Wari Empire collapsed, Pachacamac remained strong and important, receiving constant streams of pilgrims from across the Andes. People came from great distances to leave offerings in what we call today the Templo Viejo.
Sitting atop a hillside over looking the Pacific Ocean, as it appeared before excavation work began, Pachacamac was an extremely large complex of 18 huge structures, pyramids, temples and palaces, with one of them shown above
It is believed that the Wari settled the city of Ayacucho, about 7 miles north-east of the modern city of that name in Peru, having been there from about 500 A.D. to 1000 A.D., and was the center of a civilization that covered much of the highlands and coast of modern Peru. The Wari are claimed to have fit into the area between the earlier Moche (100 A.D. to 600 A.D.) and the later Chimu (900 A.D. to 1400 A.D.) cultures. Actually, little is known about the Wari, and its administrative structure, though recent finds suggest a culture with significant material wealth and the power to dominate a significant part of northern coastal Peru for many decades.
    In 2008 archaeologists found a prehistoric city of (Northern) Wari ruins--the first to show an extensive settlement related to this culture that far north, called Cerro Pátapo, 14 miles from modern Chiclayo. The find demonstrates that they had a long span of influence in the area.
    Many scholars and archaeologists credit the Wari with innovative construction centers, irrigation terracing, and the building of the great highway network, as well as controlling an area almost as large as the Inca Empire, which centuries later, took advantage of and used these Wari innovations in the building of their own Empire.
The early Chimú are referred to as the Moche civilization (Mochica), a people who lived well back in the B.C. period, and is thought to have ended around 500 A.D. The Chimú had their capital at Chan Chan, where it ruled for 200 years, and known as the Chimor (Kingdom of Chimor). The Chimú expansion eventually covered a large area and numerous ethnic groups, from the coast to the Jequetepeque Valley in the north, as well as the. Pampa Grande in the Lambayeque Valley, which was also ruled by the Chimú. To the south, they expanded as far as Carabayallo, but it was eventually stopped by the military power in the valley of Lima (Pachacamac region). Historians and archeologists are in disagreement as to how far south they managed to expand, but in 1470 the Inca defeated the Chimú, whose building ability, textiles and metallurgy talents far exceeding that of the Inca, but acquiesced to the Inca under the belief that Incan arms were invincible.
    Whoever built Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and Pachacamac , whether the Wari or Moche, both of which seem to have possessed far more of the skills needed than did the Inca, and both had far more time in which to accomplish the task than the Inca, they were certainly skilled stonemasons. According to "Discover Peru," which states that the so-called "Inca architecture" was inherited from pre-Inca civilizations, it is claimed the builders of the magnificent works used granite or limestone to build their cities, these materials were available locally. To cut the rocks they used stones, metal tools made of bronze or copper, pieces of wood and water, taking advantage of the natural fracture lines of the stones and using tools to crack them open by inserting pieces of wood and then pouring water so that the wood would expand, as the crack became bigger they would insert a bigger piece of wood and repeat the process until the piece was completely separated. Next they needed to shape the stones, which could have been rectangular or polygonal, which they did by carving and then polish them with sand. Each stone was carved to such precision that they to fit perfectly with each other.
Curved, angled, square, triangular, 12-sided stones—nothing seemed to have been too difficult for these ancient masons who cut large and small stones to fit perfectly that a knife blade, paper or pin could not be inserted between the stones

They also suggest that "Archeologists believe that a lot of planning took place before carving and placing the stones together. It was not so much a process of trial and error in fitting the stones but careful measuring and planning." In addition, it is also suggested that in order "to transport the finished stones workers had to build up roads and ramps to the construction site. It is amazing how they transported 100 metric-ton stone some as far as 21 miles."
Among the many methods submitted by researhers as to how the blocks were dragged into position, some claim they used thick ropes, gravity and muscle power and pulled them over inclined planes inclined planes—how they worked such huge stones across rivers and up mountains from the quarry to the site is not as easily explained. It is also believed that they used wet clay or gravel to reduce friction. For instance the largest stone at Ollantaytambo weighs around 140 metric tons. One stone at Sacsayhuaman, measuring 28 feet high, is estimated to weigh 120 tons, though others estimate its weight at 300 tons, even 440 tons; and stones at Puma Punku around Lake Titicaca is estimated to be at least 200 tons, and two others at that site weigh 130 tons each (In fact, one stone used in the western wall of Solomon’s Temple, by comparison, weighed 500 to 600 tons).
The capital city of Chan Chan, tht covered an area of 12 square miles with a four square mile concentrated center and made entirely of mud brick. It contained extravagant ciudadelas (large architectural masterpieces) which housed plazas, storerooms, and burial platforms for the royals

At Sacsayhuama and Ollantaytambo, the building method used by these ancient peoples was straightforward. They laid the larger stones first to build a strong foundation then they built up ramps around them to facilitate the placement of the smaller stones until they reached the top.
    The question seems to be, who had the expertise that could have built such magnificent and advanced complexes and roads?
(See the next post, “So Who Built Sacsayhuaman and the Other Sites in Andean Peru? Part III,” for more on this subject and the answer to that question)

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