Monday, April 20, 2015

Alien Architecture at Sacsayhuaman

1. Large scale terrace walls at Sacsayhuaman.
Previously we explored the idea of ancient extraterrestrial artifacts at two sites: Palenque, Mexico and Nazca, Peru.

The third interesting site I keep returning to in my mind is Sacsayhuaman, Peru. It is the most remarkable of the sites referred to on the History Channel's Ancient Aliens that I have actually visited. Located at an elevation of 12,000 feet a short distance north of Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman was an Inca fortress. It is now in ruins, plundered, as usual, by the Spanish conquistadores.  Besides killing countless native South Americans, they looted the Inca culture for gold and silver, drove the native religion underground, and decimated their monuments. The conquistadores did a thorough job of plundering Sacsayhuaman, hauling away anything that was movable. What remains is not movable and that is what is remarkable.
2. Juan de Dios, Peruvian guide at Sacsayhuaman. 
Sacsayhuaman provides compelling evidence of technologies beyond the abilities of a culture that didn't even have the benefits of the wheel.*

Consider that the battlement walls of Sacsayhuaman are built of enormous andesite stones found nowhere near the site.  They are believed to originate from several quarries ranging 12 to 46 miles distant.  The largest stones weigh 128 to 200 tons. They were apparently hauled -- somehow -- over severe terrain. Conventional theories on transporting them usually mention a combination of ropes, ramps, and the labor of hundreds or thousands of workers. The details vary, because nobody really knows for sure.
3. Stone work detail.
4. Along the battlements. 
The stones are shaped not into squares or rectangles or any regular geometry, but into puzzle-like pieces with precisely rounded edges. Then - the most astonishing aspect of the whole thing - these misshapen pieces are lifted to great heights and assembled perfectly without mortar.  The results are so precise you can't slip a dollar bill (or a Peruvian Nuevo Sol) between the joints. Or, as Pedro Pizarro (brother of the conqueror Francisco Pizarro) said of Sacsayhuaman, "...the point of a pin could not have been inserted in the joints."
5. Remnants of a portal.
When I encountered Sacsayhuaman my first thought as an architect was, I don't know how I would begin to go about designing this today. How would one do working drawings, even using computers?  How would the masonry contractor react?  You want me to ship these 200 ton stones forty miles? Then carve them into absurd shapes? And set them flawlessly? Buddy; that ain't gonna happen no matter how many ropes you give me!

Even if one would and could draw it, where would an architect find the technology and craftsmanship to build it? The enterprise isn't rational.  It would be much simpler to use regular sized blocks with regular shapes and stack them together like other masonry structures. Using the most sophisticated techniques available to modern man, Sacsayhuaman seems impossible. So how the heck did the Incas ever accomplish such feats?
6. Terraces form the base of Sacsayhuaman. 

7. Rocks above the main terraces were removed by the Spaniards to build
homes and churches in Cuzco.  What remains was too big to move using
technology available to the conquistadores.
Ancient Aliens suggests, of course, that the Inca had help from ancient aliens. Their reasoning rests on the premise that humans couldn't have constructed it (because we didn't possess the skills or technology) therefore a different intelligence must have provided assistance.  The back-up evidence, as in all Ancient Alien episodes, includes other artifacts, carvings, or connections to distant sites that suggest extraterrestrial life forms. It is all conjecture, put forward by "ancient alien theorists" as if that were equivalent to "respected archaeologists."  As stated previously, all of this is frequently debunked on line; the evidence is not as airtight as the TV program would have it.

However, the case for ancient aliens, as evidenced at Sacsayhuaman and numerous other sites, is strong enough to make you wonder about it. For me, Sacsayhuaman is a place of great mystery. I don't understand exactly how or why it was built. I don't buy the explanations of mainstream historians and archaeologists; they seem as facile and contradictory as those offered by "ancient alien theorists." But that doesn't mean I accept the ancient alien hypothesis. The best I can say is I don't know how it was built and I don't think anybody does for sure.

Did extraterrestrials assist in the architecture and construction of Sacsayhuaman?  Maybe they did and maybe they didn't.
8. Terrace walls. 
* The wheel is said to have been unknown to native cultures in pre-Hispanic South America.  However, I saw what appeared to be an ancient wheel in nearby Ollantaytambo.  But that's another story. 

1. David Galsworthy
2-5. MJK
6-8. Luis Manuel Moll Juan