The Inexplicable Sexy Woman Ruins of Peru

The Sacsayhuaman ruins in Cusco, Peru

David "models" the enormity of the stones at Sacsayhuaman
David “models” the enormity of the stones.

The name Sacsayhuaman is pronounced very much like sexy woman if the sexy is articulated the way witchy is sung in the song Witchy Woman.

(Which proved easy to implant in our memory banks.)

And there is definitely something witchy about the site.

Built as a citadel, starting in the year 1100, to overlook the city of Cusco, Peru and as a refuge for the Inca to seek surroundings safer than the palace in case of attack.

The first thing we, or anybody else, noticed was the gargantuan size of the stones used in the protective walls.

Some of the blocks weigh in at around 200 tons and they are expertly carved and placed.

The Sacsayhuaman ruins in Cusco, Peru

The huge stones of Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru are fit so tightly that a piece of paper couldn't slide between them!

These behemoths were so tightly positioned that no mortar or concrete was ever used to hold them in place, yet even after hundreds of years there is not even room for a piece of paper to fit between them.

Most of the site was destroyed by the Spanish after their conquest, and the stones removed to be used in constructing new buildings down below in the city of Cusco.

Street shot in Cusco, Peru
Rock foundations in Cusco

Now only the largest rocks remain.

Our guide gives us an excellent explanation as to how the builders used the force of gravity to set the stones into each other and strengthen the structure.

Each piece is cut to fit exactly in place and distribute the weight to hold everything in place. Some of the gigantic stones have a grid laid out over them to lend a better understanding to the wonkiness.

The Sacsayhuaman ruins in Cusco, Peru
A chalkline grid shows the wonkiness of the placement of the gigantic stones.

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

That certainly begged the question, how is it that they were not too large to be moved by the the builders, the Quechua, up to the top of the hill in the first place?

We struggled for logical explanations, some bit of evidence to help us comprehend the incomprehensible.

The facts we there; huge stones were cut out of the mountains, moved across fairly large distances and up steep hillsides, cut to precise but highly varied shapes and sizes, and then fit perfectly together using no mortar.

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

Adding to the seemingly impossible—no tools or equipment of any kind has ever been discovered at any of the archeological sites.

Nor was our curiosity quelled by any of the theories that we had read so far.

Some speculated that the stones were cut using water, and sure, water can cut through rock. We see it every day in valleys and canyons.

Good old H2O can do a fine job cutting solid granite, except that it takes a few million years to do it.

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

Another opinion speculates that stone tools were used, since no metal hard enough to cut granite was available at that time.

The Ruins of Sacsayhuaman in Peru

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

The big drawback to that theory is the blocks being cut are composed of the hardest rock in the region, granite, so at best the tools would only be as strong as the blocks they were being used on.

Needless to say, we were having a hard time buying into these assumptions, and our confusion only multiplied with every new idea or theory.

We were beginning to understand why some people think aliens from outer space had something to do with it. It seemed as good of an explanation as any.

View of Cusco from the Sacsayhuaman ruins in Cusco, Peru

The Ruins of Sacsayhuaman in Peru

We scrambled up to the top and found a fantastic view of the city.

Sadly, what we didn’t find were any remnants of the once splendid temples that used to stand atop Sacsayhuaman.

Only the foundations are left. Along with a foundation of (slightly witchy) knowledge that would serve us well as we made our way through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu.

David & Veronica,

See all of our adventures in Peru!

YOUR TURN: So how was this done? Could it be aliens?

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