The rock experience 2 (Pikillaqta, Pisac, Tipon)

Pikillaqta – a pre-Inca village of the Wari people (The site was occupied from about 550 to 1100 AD)

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Wari was the center village, and other cities like Pikillaqta were influenced by it. The Wari also inhabited many other sites around the area. Its main use was for ceremonies and the site was not complete when it was abandoned. The Pikillaqta site is located in low ridges in the eastern Valley of Cuzco. The area is hilly with no rivers, but small lakes are located near the city. The area is grassy, rocky, and sandy where the buildings were built. The climate in the area of Pikillaqta is cold and dry.

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Pikillaqta was discovered in 1927, but it was not until the 1989-1990 when big excavations divided the site into 4 sectors. Pikillaqta economically controlled the area through agriculture. There was a water network in Pikillaqta that led through canals and agriculture fields to help the people. Water for irrigation was brought in mainly by the rainfall, which leads to the water system. There is over 48000 meters of canals in the water system. We were really fascinated by walking through this site.

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Pikillaqta may have been a large feasting site. There was a large patio in the middle of the architectural structure that probably was the center of the administrative rituals and religious practices. Rulers and their kin would come together and feast and drink, and with the capacity of the patio, Pikillaqta could hold a ceremony for people from other Wari villages. Great amounts of native beer (chicha) was drank. Maize and chicha were very important in rituals, they were sacred so they appeared often in ceremonies (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikillaqta).

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In total the site consists of more than 600-700 buildings, and the site are still under excavation, and more buildings are being discovered. In the left picture you see how the excavation of the street has stopped, but in the right picture the hole street have been excavated.

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Look how different the stone works is compared to the Inca stone work

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Pisac ruins (900-1100 A.D.) – we named it “Mini Machu Picchu”

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The Inca terraces at Pisac are impressive. The main economic activity of the ancient village of Pisac was agriculture. Therefore, there are 16 agricultural sectors that contain complex and advanced agricultural platforms. Pisac is the site, which has the biggest variety of platforms styles. It has at least 14 different shapes of platforms built from 2.995 to 3.450 meters.

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With the ruin of Pisac located above the terraces

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Yes you are allowed to walk almost everywhere, which make the experience amazing – even on the terraces

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The archaeological site of Pisac is one of the largest in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (this is just a small part of it)

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Archaeological studies have determined that this was not a fortress but a kind of royal estate owned by the Inca Pachacutec. The city was composed of platforms, domestic and ceremonial structures and aqueducts that provided the water for agriculture.

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The Intihuatana (Solar observatory, which is the round building in the left picture). This is one of the most important ceremonial monuments in Pisac. It is located on the top of the mountain, that dominates much of the valley. Its walls are sedimentary (the juncture of polished stones has a rectangular outer surface). Its sides are carved in the form of hands that are enclosed in a semicircle, which is regarded as the Sun Temple of Pisac.
In the center of the building there is a carved stone altar, also known as Intihuatana, it must have been used to observe solar movements, and as an altar to celebrate religious rites to worship the Sun God or for animal sacrifices. Also west of the altar we find a carved stone that could serve for astronomical observations, it represented the three Andean phases of the religious world: heaven, the earthly world and the underworld. The altar is shaped like a letter D, and is perfectly oriented to the sun, in the June solstice. Only in Machu Picchu, you can see a similar rock.

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Walking through the ruins

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Getting the experience, that this place was sprawling with life 1000 years ago

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Watching and touching the different stone work

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Tipón – a sprawling Inca ruin from the early 1400 A.D.

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The site was probably used as a laboratory of agricultural products because of the various micro-climates found within the complex, but the true purpose is not known. Even the original name of the Inca site is lost, even though it is one of the latest constructions of the Incas.

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It contains enclosures, terraces and an intact canal. the site is home to one of the largest irrigation works in the terraces, with a great distribution of outdoor water channels

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The site is very intact, which makes the visit amazing. Even the old Inca staircase have been incorporated as a part of the trail

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It was time to leave Cusco, and drive towards Ollantaytambo with two stop on our way in the hunt for the full “rock experience” here in Peru.

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8 ruins down and 4 to go. In the next post we go into agriculture, and the production of salt, but what does that have to do with the Incas? Check out the next post.
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