Collapsed Sacsayhuamán wall reveals older adode wall

May 1st, 2010

The heavy rains at the start of the year that caused damage to the walls of the ancient Sacsayhuamán site above the Inca imperial city of Cusco seem to have had at least one upside.

As work got under way to repair a collapsed section of a wall on one of the terraces of the imposing complex, archaeologists noticed what appeared to be a mud wall directly behind the later perfect stone structure.

Second wall, by Percy Hurtado for Andina

Second wall, by Percy Hurtado for Andina

This is not the first such discovery – last year a similar secondary wall was found with a typical trapezoidal niche common in Inca buildings for placing idols.

The discovery would seem to suggest that the stone Sacsayhuamán we see today is a later construction built over a similar older adobe structure, or possibly that the terraces were built out of adobe walls first with the intention of immediately covering them with fancy looking stone blocks afterwards.

There are many possibilities and it is difficult to know for sure… it is of course impossible to pull down bits of original stone wall elsewhere to investigate further.

Tags: , , ,