Ancient Cultures & the “Civilization” cycle
However, the purpose of the megalithic wall of Sacsayhuaman is not the only mystery left to us by the ancient architects. The construction technology remains to be a mystery as well. It is just 50 years ago that the modern science, due to the input of the American researchers, adopted the thesis that all of the known masonry techniques at the Inca monuments pertained to Incas. Although earlier many of the researchers believed that the cyclopean stone constructions must have been erected by a rather developed ancient culture which existed there long before the accession of Inca.
Indeed, according to the present-day perceptions, Incas came to the valley of Cusco and found their capital there around 1200 BC. However, this fertile territory was densely inhabited yet before their arrival. The archaeological research, including that conducted at the territory of Sacsayhuaman, confirm this idea. The artefacts that were found at this territory signify of the existence of earlier cultures, which existed there centuries before the arrival of Incas. Even more, the Incan Empire, that spread its power over the majority of the Western part of South America, lasted in fact for only less than 1 century. Until the succession of Inca Pachacuti Yupanqui to the throne (1438 – 1471) the Kingdom of Cusco was one of the many formations in Andes, by far not the largest one. And even until then the Inca had to survive engaging themselves into the constant wars with their closest neighbours.
It is hard to imagine how the ancient Peruvians, with the help of the most-simple tools only, managed to erect such a magnificent building made of the monolithic stone blocks weighing dozens of tons each. The full scope of work assumed stone-cutting works in the mines, stone delivery to the sites (for rather long distances by the way), treatment of stones at the site and, finally, the masonry. Sacsayhuaman is the most sublime, but not the only existing monument of the similar cyclopean construction. In the so-called “Tsar valley”, where Cusco is located, there survived until our times also other monuments which comprise large megalithic constructions – Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, etc. Some of them are located on the high mountain peaks and where it is not very easy to climb to, while transporting the several dozen stone blocks onto those steep slopes is a mission close to impossible even in the present conditions.
One of the most famous Spanish chroniclers, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, in his “Los Comentarios Reales de los Incas»” described the following incident. One of the Incan kings decided to deliver to one of the “tired stones” to the place of the next construction site. The “tired stones” – this is how the Inca called the large-tonnage processed monoliths which were not yet installed into the constructions, but were laying close to them waiting for their turn. One can find such blocks at the foot of Ollantaytambo nowadays. So, for this mission the king appointed 20 000 Indians to drag that stone with the help of ropes. At some place the stone fell down off the cliff and squashed 3 000 people. Naturally, one should not put too much emphasis on the specific number of people involved into that operation, since the ancient chroniclers used to exaggerate these figures. The major question concerns another domain: according to this evidence, Incas were not only incapable of to construct such tremendous buildings, but they couldn’t even transport such blocks. Even more, in this source it is stated clearly that in the times of Incas these constructions already existed and were already prone to major damage. Then who and when was capable of constructing such monuments? The modern science has no information about any civilizations existing on this territory before Inca and which would be more advanced then Inca. A number of researchers, usually not related to the academic circles, believe that this was created by some ancient “megalithic civilization”, while Incas, who were the last to come to this region, simply acquired the ancient legacy and made use of the construction experience of the predecessors.
This hypothesis is also supported by other archaeological facts which deal, in first place, with the technology of stone treatment in the ancient times. At the foot of the tremendous walls of Sacsayhuaman there stretched a vast square. In the ancient times it was completely filled in with the various temples and residential buildings which were later disassembled by the Spaniards. From the opposite side (opposite to the walls of Sacsayhuaman) the square is bound by a rock crest Hill Suchuno. It’s a dome-like diorite formation (magmatic rock formation), who’s surface reminds of the shell of a scallop available in plenty at any seaside beach. At the different slopes of this hill, in a very solid formation there are cut the multiple footsteps and niches. The quality of the performed work is so high that it’s impossible to imagine that this was done by the stone or bronze tools. In addition, there exist no justified hypotheses regarding the purpose of such architectural constructions. For example, the so-called “throne of the Inca” – two layers of footsteps at the Eastern slope of the hill Suchuno – possesses the smoothly polished facets intersecting strictly perpendicularly which have basically not suffered any damages throughout all of the centuries (or even millenniums) of their existence. It’s worth highlighting that the solidity of diorite is higher than that of the basalt and it requires very labor-intensive processing.
During one of the trips to Sacsayhuaman, at the Eastern slope of the hill we have discovered the strange saw cut traces in the diorite rock. Along the edge of a crack that appeared as a result of a split of a large piece of formation, we saw the saw cut traces left by an unknown instrument. The cut was 1-2 centimeters deep and several meters long. For the modern man such trace would be the sign of a disk (!) saw. But it’s impossible to assume, that the ancient Peruvian constructors were using such tools. Neither one can admit that these are the tracks of the modern-times restorers. Judging by the traces, the diameter of this saw must have been not less than 1.5 meters!” “