The Sacsayhuaman Complex's Mysterious Design and History


In the ancient Inca city of Cusco, the northern part was called Sacsayhuaman. According to tales from that time, the city itself was shaped like a puma, which was one of the most powerful creatures in that the area and much respected by the people. The name itself either stands for Head of the Puma or Falcon. Most historians lean toward the former name since the puma was so important in Incan culture. Another meaning may include the concept of completion, which may point to the spiritual aspect of the city zone that held many of the temples and religious places.


The part of the city itself unfortunately attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors who stole and plundered much of the silver and gold decorations on the walls and in use at that time. Still, many impressive things are left behind for archaeologists, historians, and intelligent tourists to enjoy. Most specifically are the massive stones that were used to build his exact wall and other parts of the complex in that part of Cusco. The ancient people understood how volatile earthquakes were, since they undoubtedly experienced many themselves, and builds their walls accordingly. There is no doubt that a 30-foot-tall stone weighing around 125 tons could withstand seismic activity. Almost half of the stone is buried in the ground, which would make it virtually unmovable once it was positioned.


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