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 Location: Urabamba Basin, Andes, Peru.  Grid Reference: 13 31' 30" S, 71 58' 20" W.

  

      Cuzco: (Navel of the Earth, Inca Capital).

Capital of the Inca civilisation.

Cuzco is the centre of a network of spirit-paths (cerques), that radiate across the landscape. The son of the ninth king, Inca Pachacuti (1438-1471 AD), initiated a road construction program that ultimately developed over 6,000 miles of road, including one road 3,000 miles long from Quito in Ecuador to Talca in Chile. (2).

The oldest continuously inhabited city in south America.

(Click here for location of Cuzco)

(Click here for map of city)

 

 

   Cuzco, (Cusco, Qusco):

Description - Cuzco means 'Navel' in Quechua, and was the 'earth navel' of the Incas nations. Cuzco was occupied by the Inca from around 1,200-1,500 AD, although it was occupied before this time by the Killke culture from 900 - 1,200 AD. The city is overlooked from the north by the famous walled fortress Sacsayhuaman.

The Cuzco Jaguar:

Cuzco is said to have been originally designed in the shape of a jaguar (puma) with the main plaza being the belly, the river Tullumayo forming its spine, the 'Sundial' as the Eye and Sacsayhuaman itselfas the head. This would make the Coricancha the genitalia.

Left: The Cuzco 'sundial' (The Eye of the Jaguar), Right: Sacsayuaman (The 'Head of the Jaguar').

(Click here for map of Cuzco overlaid with Jaguar)

 

Although there are still some remains and foundations of Inca buildings, most were lost following the sacking by Pizarro in 1535. today there are only a few structures left to see such as the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun (Coricancha) and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun.

The excellent stonework, of perfectly carved Andesite blocks, along with other construction features, is  noticeably reminiscent of Egyptian architecture. The granite Inca walls have survived several earthquakes while other newer structures have fallen, notably the Dominican Priory and Church of Santo Domingo, which were built on top of the Temple of the Sun which ere badly damaged following an earthquake in  in 1950.

Examples of the excellent masonry at Cuzco  - (Right - The 'Stone of the 12 Angels')

(Prehistoric Construction Techniques)

 

The Coricancha (Qorikancha)

The Coricancha  was originally covered with plates of gold, and its interior contained a series of temples dedicated to the sun, moon, rainbow, stars, and thunder and lightning. Golden, bejewelled objects were found throughout, and the Temple of the Moon was covered in sheets of silver. The courtyard, or "golden garden" contained life-size gold replicas of the animals and plants of the kingdom.

 

The superb Inca masonry of the Coricancha.

 

The Coricancha as 'Earth-Navel'

'The Coricancha was the sighting centre for a remarkable system of radial organisation. Radiating out from the  Coricancha, 41 sight lines stretched to the horizon and beyond. Along these lines or adjacent  to them were built 328 'huacas' or survey points, suggested by some as representing the number of  days in 12 sidereal lunar months. One third of these ceque points comprised the major springs and water sources of the region'. (4)

(More about 'Earth Navels')

 

Mythology of Cuzco:

 The principle myth describes the founders of Cuzco as two 'children of the Sun'. Manco Capac and Mama Occlo Huaco, who were both brother and sister and husband and wife. Sent by the Sun, the couple advanced from lake Titicaca with a golden wedge, which was destined to sink into the earth without any effort at their final place of residence, which was Cuzco. (2). Prescott spoke of the 'white' and 'bearded' men who came from lake Titicaca, and established ascendancy over the local natives. Prescott made reference to the story of Quetzalcoatl's appearance in Mexico, who appears similar and had the same 'mission'.

This structure, located near Cuzco is called the 'Throne of the Inca'

 

(Other Peruvian sites) 

References:

1). The Atlas of Mysterious Places. 1987. Guild Publishing.
2). D. Zink. The Ancient Stones Speak. 1979. Musson Book Co.
4). M. Moseley. The Incas and their Ancestors. 1994. Thames and Hudson.

 

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