Rumicolca Ruins off highway 35 near Cuzco. Look closely and you will the original (older) style construction which has been overlaid by the cruder Incan style. This appears to be a “gateway” to the Cuzco Valley. I have been to Cuzco twice and have another trip scheduled. I remember visiting this site on my first trip. Only a small portion of the gateway was constructed in the precision, finished style found at Sacsayhuaman, several locations in Cuzco and also at Machu Picchu.
“One story in Cusco folklore goes as follows: The Wari people once inhabited the city of Pikillaqta. The Wari were a pre-Inca civilization that existed from about 550 to 900 A.D., and they are known as the first state level society in the Sierra region of Peru. They were also the first to urbanize, and at Pikillaqta, this created a substantial need for a steady and large supply of water. One of the great Wari leaders decided to solve this problem by creating a competition. He offered his only daughter’s hand in marriage to the man who could bring water to Pikillaqta. Two men wished to marry his daughter-one from Cusco and one from Puno-and so they both began to create plans for a way to bring water to the city. In the end, the man from Cusco decided to build a great canal from the Laguna de Huacarpay to Pikillaqta. In order to do this, he needed to cross a large gap, and so he built the first and largest aqueduct in ancient Peru, which still stands today. This is La Portada de Rumicolca.”
This is a fun story but not one that rings true with me. I think the following makes more sense.
The Gate Theory
“This first theory held that La Portada was originally built by the Wari to serve as a gate to their area of rule. Later, the Inca built a larger gate on top of the old Wari foundations. This gate was meant to separate the four “suyus,” or regions, of the Inca Empire. Specifically, La Portada was the gate between the northern region of Cusco and the southern region of Puno. Since it was on the main highway between these two regions, travelers would have to pass through the gate and pay a toll to the Inca. This theory suggests that the Inca also modified La Portada to serve as an aqueduct. This theory likely attempted to explain the fact that much of La Portada is made up of crude Wari stonework, encased by finely carved Inca stone veneer.”
What bothers me about both stories is the assumed involvement by the Wari. If true then they must have been responsible for all of the exquisite construction at Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco & Machu Picchu. There is no evidence that they had this level of technology. In my mind the only question would be whether it was the Wari or the Incas that added the much cruder construction.
My thinking is that the original precise construction in all locations was a result of a much older, and yet to be identified, civilization. Their technology has been lost and even today we are not able to replicate either precision required. See from a wall in Cuzco:
As amazing is the ability of this civilization to transport large stones (some over 250 tons) from the quarry site several miles away and up a 45 degree slope above Cuzco to an elevation of 12,000 ft!