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SCIENCE MYSTERIES   |  STRANGE ARTIFACTS  |  MYSTIC PLACES  |  ANCIENT WRITINGS

Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters (9,160 feet) above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night hike known as the Inca Trail.


  MYSTIC PLACES - OLLANTAYTAMBO

 
Introduction  |  Stone Technology  |  Aramu Muru  |  BooksWebsites

Introduction

At the northern end of the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo is rare if not unique in Peru. 
Ollantaytambo is a massive citadel located 50 kilometers from Machu Picchu. The citadel served as both a temple and a fortress. At some time unknown, and for reasons unknown, work mysteriously stopped on this huge project.


Photograph courtesy of SacredSites.com


Photograph courtesy of SacredSites.com

Inca terraces (left) and megalithic wall (right) at pre-Inca site of Ollantaytambo.


Mysterious Pre-Inca megalithic stonework at Ollantaytambo


Wall of the Six Monoliths.  Click on the photo to enlarge


Click on the photo to enlarge


Terraces of Pumatallis
Click on the photo to enlarge

The main quarries of Ollantaytambo were located at Kachiqhata, in a ravine across the Urubamba River some 5 kilometers from the town. The site features three main quarrying areas: Mullup'urku, Kantirayoq, and Sirkusirkuyoq; all of them provided blocks of rose rhyolite for the elaborate buildings of the Temple Hill. An elaborate network of roads, ramps, and slides connected them with the main building areas.


Stone Technology

The Sun Temple (above) that was constructed with huge red porphyry (pink granite) boulders. The stone quarry is named Kachiqhata (Salt Slope) and is located about 4 km (2.5 miles) away on the other side of the valley, by the upper side of the opposite south-western mountains. The boulders were carved partially in the quarries, and taken down to the valley's bottom. In order to cross the river Quechuas constructed an artificial channel parallel to the natural river bed that served for deviating the river's water according to conveniences. Therefore, while that water flowed through one channel the other was dry, thus stones could be taken to the other side of the valley. More over, the boulders were transported to the upper spot where the temple is erected using the inclined plane that is something like a road which silhouette is clearly seen from the valley's bottom. They had the help of log rollers or rolling stones as wheels, South-American cameloids' leather ropes, levers, pulleys, and the power of hundreds and even thousands of men. Today, on the way from the quarry to the temple there are dozens of enormous stones that people know as " tired stones" because it is believed that they could never be transported to their destination; those stones are the reason why some authors claim that the Sun Temple was unfinished when the Spanish invasion happened.

Massive, multi-sided blocks were precisely fitted together in interlocking 
patterns in order to withstand the disastrous effects of earth quakes.

Scientists speculate that the masonry process might have worked like this: after carving the desired shape out of the first boulder and fitting it in place, the masons would somehow suspend the second boulder on scaffolding next to the first one. They would then have to trace out a pattern on the second boulder in order to plan the appropriate jigsaw shape that would fit the two together. In order to make a precise copy of the first boulder's edges, the masons might have used a straight stick with a hanging plum-bob to trace its edges and mark off exact points for carving on the second boulder. After tracing out the pattern, they would sculpt the stone into shape, pounding it with hand-sized stones to get the general shape before using finger-size stones for precision sanding. Admittedly, this entire technique is merely scientific speculation. The method might have worked in practice but that doesn't mean this is how the ancient Quechua stonemasons did it.

"How were such titanic blocks of stone brought to the top of the mountain from the quarries many miles away? How were they cut and fitted? How were they raised and put in place? Now one knows, no one can even guess. There are archaeologists, scientists, who would have us believe that the dense, hard andesite rock was cut, surfaced and faced by means of stone or bronze tools. Such an explanation is so utterly preposterous that it is not even worthy of serious consideration. No one ever has found anywhere any stone tool or implement that would cut or chip the andesite, and no bronze ever made will make any impression upon it."

A. Hyatt & Ruth Verrill ----America's Ancient Civilizations

Jean-Pierre Protzen thinks the Verrills was wrong. He went to Cuzco and showed how river rocks could be used as hammers to pound stones into the desired shape.

"It appears that the Inca technique of fitting the blocks together was based largely on trial and error. It is a laborious method, particularly if one considers the size of some of the huge stones at Sacsahuaman or Ollantaytambo. What should be kept in mind, however, is that time and labour power were probably of little concern to the Incas, who did not have a European notion of time and had plenty of tribute labour from conquered peoples at their disposal."

Jean-Pierre Protzen ---Scientific American ---Feb. 1986

Was this monolith carved with stone tools?

Eric Von Daniken, in his series of books beginning with Chariots of the Gods theorized that the Andean stone-works were build by Alien/Gods who visited the earth long ago, bringing civilization to primitive man. The scientific community simply snickered.
Whatever one thinks of his theories, he brought to the public an awareness of the many ancient monuments on earth that seem to defy rational explanation.

Everybody who has traveled to Egypt, Mesopotamia, South America and many ancient places has seen it: the astonishing craftsmanship of these ancient stoneworkers. The precision fit of large stone blocks is eminent in both the Old and New World. It is hardly imaginable, that all of this should have been done by pure manual work alone. This very interesting link, Ancient Stone Technology, also  includes theories of Professor Davidovits from the Geopolymer Institute in France.
In short, his theory is that the 2 million blocks of limestone that make up the core of the pyramid of Chufu (Cheops), have not been cut into shape, but the limestone was solved in water, brought to the building place in small portions and then the blocks were cast in situ.  Even more interesting are his ideas on the precision-fit Inca walls: He puts forward a technique to soften the stone by use of acid plant extracts!
Another interesting website is STONE TECHNOLOGY. The ancient Egyptians were masters in working with stone. These pages document photographic evidence, historical research and contemporary debates on stone technology. Topics include predynastic stonewares, straight saws, circular saws, tube drilling and lathes - Photos, Research Papers and Newsgroup Debate Summaries.

More about Inca Stone Technology>>


Aramu Muru

Another similar in nature megalithic structure is Aramu Muru near the Lake Titicaca.

Lake Titicaca, on the borders of Peru and Bolivia, is where Inca legends say life on Earth was first created by Viracocha. In the center of the lake is the Island of the Sun, with an ancient, sacred temple. Nearby is Sillustani, where mysterious burial towers called chulpas were once plated with gold and held the remains of Inca royalty.

A few miles away is Aramu Muru’s Portal, a doorway-shaped niche in a stone outcropping, located in a region known as the Valley of the Spirits. The local villagers who walked with us refused to come close to the portal. They tell stories about people disappearing through the solid rock.


Photograph courtesy of SacredSites.com

Mysterious giant stone sculpture of Aramu Muru, north of Chucuito, Peru


LINKS


Don't miss our article about Tiwanacu >>


Don't miss related article about Puma Punku >>


BOOKS

 

Inca Architecture and Construction at Ollantaytambo
by Jean-Pierre Protzen, Robert Batson (Illustrator)

 

In this book, Protzen describes and interprets the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, discovers temporal and functional links among its components, uncovers the planning and design criteria that governed its layout and architecture, and compiles all that has been written about the site.

Inca Architecture and Construction at Ollantaytambo

It is a modern-day mystery how the Inca, who did not have iron tools or knowledge of the wheel, mined and transported stones and dressed and fitted them in remarkable structures. Jean-Pierre Protzen has spent much of the past decade investigating the quarrying and stonecutting techniques of the Inca, and problems of Inca construction practices. His work is based principally on observation, careful measurements of structures, and experiments using stones and tools the Inca stonemasons would have used. Ollantaytambo, probably the best-preserved Inca town, offers an ideal laboratory with its well-thought-out site plans, its intimate integration of the built form with the natural environment, the unity of its architecture, and the sheer perfection of its cut-stone masonry. Offering the only extensive analysis of Inca construction practices, Protzen describes and interprets the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, discovers temporal and functional links among its components, uncovers the planning and design criteria that governed its layout and architecture, and compiles all that has been written about the site.

The Secret of the Incas - Myth, Astronomy, and the War Against Time

Step by step, Sullivan pieces together the hidden esoteric tradition of the Andes to uncover the tragic secret of the Incas, a tribe who believed that, if events in the heavens could influence those on earth, perhaps the reverse could be true. Anyone who reads this book will never look at the ruins of the Incas, or at the night sky, the same way again. Illustrations. (Note: This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.)

Between the Lines: The Mystery of the Giant Ground Drawings of Ancient
Anthony F. Aveni

Searching for Lost Worlds: Machu Picchu: Secrets of the Incan Empire (1999)
VIDEO

More Subject Related Books & Video


International explorer, archaeologist and author Jonathan Gray has traveled the world to gather data on ancient mysteries. He has penetrated some largely unexplored areas, including parts of the Amazon headwaters. The author has also led expeditions to the bottom of the sea and to remote mountain and desert regions of the world. He lectures internationally.

"Dead Men's Secrets" by Jonathan Gray is 373 pages of discovering ancient technology and lost secrets. 
Do not miss his new books that followed "Dead Men's Secrets":

Book 1 – "The Killing Of... PARADISE PLANET"  lays out stunning evidence of a once-global paradise, 
with a temperature-controlled climate, idyllic landscape and long-lived human giants… but a super culture 
ready to wipe itself out. The world BEFORE the Great Flood of 2345 BC

Book 2 – "SURPRISE WITNESS"  shows what happened DURING that great Deluge - the cosmic calamity that ripped the Earth to shreds and wiped out the original Mother Civilization. Not only were the antedeluvian people buried, but their technological achievements were destroyed, including all form of machinery and construction. The skeptic may shout himself hoarse. But this event surely happened. 
We have evidence that is more substantial than for any other event of history.

Book 3 – "The Corpse CAME BACK!" Now comes the fast moving, fascinating story of the settling down 
of Planet Earth AFTER the Flood, and its effect upon human history.

To order visit this page: Jonathan Gray

 

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Archaeoastronomy: Ollantaytambo, Tiahuanaco, Tiwanaku, Puma Punku, Bolivia, Peru