Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Inca: Occupiers or Creators – Part VI

Continuing from the previous five posts, the question has to be asked. Who could have built such magnificent stonework as that found at Sacsayhuaman?
The Kilke? Their work is said to have been much lesser in degree, being the outlying buildings, etc.
The superb stonework we see at Sacayhuaman is said to have been built by the Inca, but we have seen the capability of the Inca (see the previous posts), which is also shown below:
The wall of large stones lower left is pre-Inca, the smaller stacked stone wall lower right is Inca. Note the considerable difference in quality, ability, and effort. The large stones are cut to fit perfectly, the small stones are merely stacked, Inca-style
Can anyone really believe that just anyone built such marvels? Just because the Inca occupied the fortress, does that mean they built it? Consider the mathematics required, the design diagrams, architectural calculations, the angles needed, and the overall drawings required, to achieve such accomplishments. After all, it was not just one huge stone with numerous different angled cuts needed, but tens of thousands of huge stones were involved, almost every single one requiring multiple-angled cuts to fit so tightly, not a knife blade or a sheet of paper can be slipped between the joints. Yet, as has often been reported, the Inca had no written language. Their quipos may well have been a marvel of recording lists, etc., but they did not deal with drawings of any kind.
Examples of amazing stonework by skilled ancient stonemasons. Note the number of angles of the single large stone (12) in the bottom image. The people who built these walls were both engineering and architectural design experts, and extremely skilled stonemasons, at least knowing geometry
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars can give credit to the Inca, if they choose, for such magnificent work as that of Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and numerous other gigantic sites and complexes, but the truth of the matter is the Inca had no such engineering, building, or stonemason capability. They had no writing, therefore, would have had no written or drawn plans, yet had to make hundreds of geometric calculations in their designs.
To there credit, they did establish an empire that stretched for 2500 miles or so from Colombia to Chile, but the amount of time it took to do so matches pretty much the entire duration of their existence, from about 1438 to 1528, when they were beseeched with an internal Civil War, and toward the end of that, the Spanish invasion that completely destroyed the Inca as a nation and as a people.
We should recognize that the Inca subjugated an estimated 16,000,000 people by the time they were done, but no sooner had they achieved that lofty point than their empire began to crumble from political intrigue, inner family disputes, and the resulting civil war. They had no more time to invest in the building of Sacsayhuaman, let alone Ollantaytambo, and certainly not all the other ancient sites modern historians attribute to them. They were not builders, they were subjugators, absolute dictators of millions of people who had no rights other than what the Inca ruler allowed.
Every person who has ever seen the huge stones used at Sacsayhuaman, and how perfectly they fit, the numerous cuts made on hundreds and thousands of stone, and the unique interlocking of positions, rave about what they found. Not even modern builders can believe what they see there.
Consider the unusual shapes and cuts of the joints in these early Sacsayhuaman stoneworks. The engineering fete of shaping, cutting, reshaping, and fitting, such huge stones, many weighing over fifty tons, and some over 100 tons or more, astounds the visitor
Also consider the fanatical concern for defense that drove the design and building of the overall complex. The fortress is situated to the north of the valley, with a breathtaking view of the valley below, including its three main entrances, which can clearly  be seen from the lookout positions established there. With a cliff on two sides, and the three-tiered, almost impregnable walls on the other two, the citadel was extremely formidable.
Note the defensive nature of Sacsayhuaman. Left: The three tiered walls of the outer defenses, each wall some 20 feet high or more; Right: Even after breaching the outer walls, the interior maze of narrow, crooked corridors are easily defended.
But not only were there three outer walls, but within the complex were huge towers. Muyu Marca, the main tower, consisted of three concentric, circular stone walls connected by a series of radial walls. A web-like pattern of 34 lines intersected at the center and also there was a pattern of concentric circles that corresponded to the location of the circular walls. There were four superposed floors, with the first having a square floor, and the others cylindrical, each forming circular  cultivation terraces with decreasing width, from 12 feet to 10 feet. The tower ended up in a conic ceiling, some 65 feet above the base. To bring water into the fortress, there were three channels constructed into what many scientists consider to be a reservoir. The entire complex was an amazing work that generated awe among the conquistadors and the admiration of several early Spanish chroniclers. Unfortunately, despite the latter’s protests, the Spaniards destroyed all three towers, believing them the word of the Devil.
All that is left of the main tower. Note the circular rock foundation upon which it stood, and the support foundations all around
Once again then, who built Sacsayhuaman?
After all, who in that early time could have known about the mathematics needed, the angles required, the interlocking method of design, the inverted angles of walls, the trapezoidal design of doorways and windows, and the other innovations seen in Sacsayhuaman? Who would have known how to build such magnificent buildings, move such massive rocks, how to carve huge boulders, and create such perfectly fitted joints? Who would have known where the ore was to build the tools to work the stones?
The Inca told the conquistadors that Sacsayhuaman had been built by giants. They certainly didn’t know, and they certainly didn’t build the massive fortress themselves.
(See the next post, “The Inca: Occupiers or Creators – Part VII, for more on the limited ability of the Inca building capability, and an answer to who actually built Sacsayhuaman and the other ancient buildings in Peru)

No comments:

Post a Comment