March 18, 2018
Como se construyó el Machu Picchu

How was it constructed?

I he entire archaeological complex is on top of a massif known as the Batholithic of Vilcabamba, a deep solid stone mass. This required engineers and constructors of the city to balance the high and low places following the accidents of the subsoil and, at the same time, to work diligently to secure its stableness. From that perspective, what we see today in Machu Picchu is the tip of the iceberg; and not only because of the solid stable system, but because of the complex net to manage the water, which according to experts should be studied more thoroughly. In 2008, specialized international institutions in hydraulic engineering established that Mapi and Tipón (located south of Cusco) were “wonders” in that art, which is evidenced in a metal slab found at the entrance to the city.

The city of Mapi was constructed with white granite taken from the quarries found in the same archaeological site (there is access to them in the visiting circuit.) To shape the stones, the Incas used granodiorite, a stone that is harder than granite, from which was made some sort of hammer (firing pin) that served to brake and shape the granite through percussion and rubbing. Since the wheel was not known and there were no burden beasts (llamas carry small cargoes), to transport the stones, human traction was used, but using rock pulleys, trunks, rollers and ramps. There is unquestionable evidence that leads to think that the project was left inconclusive, especially due to the quantity of stones left on the way and the rooms that were not finished.

As all of the Inca cities, the planning of Machu Picchu was based on the dichotomy Hanan and Urin (high and low); that delimited types of constructions and functions.

Modern archaeology supports that Mapi is the model of the so called “eco-architecture” that promoted building with total respect for certain big rocks which, once assembled into the whole, had sacred functions. This was explained to me by various experts at the site, such as archaeologist Fernando Astete, director of the Archaeological Park and expert Roger Valencia. The clearest image of this type of architecture may be found ¡n the Temple of the Cóndor.

Recent archaeoastronomy studies show extraordinary findings about aspects of Mapi that had never before been interpreted so clearly. This study methodology shows that in civilizations where no devices had been found for astronomic observation, the architecture provided the points required to comply with this need to understand the celestial movements, not only for cult purposes, but mainly to predict weather conditions that could determine the agricultural behavior. Stonehenge seems to be another place where, similar to Mapi, the stars were observed with absolute precision, using devices constructed by men. That is what we see in Mapi when during the winter solstice, the guide explains, the sun rays enter exactly by the window at a certain point, or the wrongly named mortars by Bingham, that were really recipients that when they were filled with water reflected the constellations. The solar dock, the rocks placed as models facing the mountain that are identical at scale, which have even been associated to aliens, have a very clear reasoning that did not exclude the sacred: we are confronting a holistic and integrated civilization. The perfection applied to the helicoidally plane continues calling people’s attention, which makes the rocks fit exactly as if they were pieces of a 3D puzzle. Or the diversity of the parameters that were applied on just one wall based on its stableness. It is very clear that Machu Picchu is the purest synthesis of 20,000 years of Andean civilization.