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The Amazing New Adventures of Larry and Mark - Peru, Land of the Incas

Chapter 33

 Machu Picchu Architecture and Geology

Everywhere I walk, I snap photos of interesting construction.
This rock wasn't that big - maybe only a ton, but it had to be shaped
to fit with twelve stones around it!  How many men did it take to do
this, and how long?   
A very fine ceremonial wall adjacent to the Temple of the Sun.
Hiram Bingham called this long, straight wall
"The most beautiful wall in America."
 Interesting shaped knob, probably for holding a small torch.
 Why build stairs?  Just carve the rock!
 This area was used either for ritual sacrifice, or butchering
animals, or both.
Another marvel of expert pre- power tool carving.
 This covered structure was the only place for us to get out of
the sun at Machu Picchu.  It probably was not an old building,
but it was constructed as they would have thatched the roof.
The Inca didn't have any metals stronger than bronze, yet they cut millions
of stones so tight their best work still will stop a sheet of paper.
Most doorways are topped with stone lintels, but there are a few which
have some wood included.  They are not original, but part  of  
This wood beam was placed by Hiram Bingham during one of his trips
to study Machu Picchu.
In many places, the stairs are not individually carved, but cut
out of the pre-existing surface, the so-called "living rock."
I have imagined a race for Inca youth, where only the starting
and endpoints are indicated, and the youth would race, barefoot or
in the thinnest sandals, down the route of their choice to be the
first at the endpoint.  In this race, not a few would be injured,
and someone might even fall off the edge of the "world." 
 Above this massive carved ceremonial rock many of the stones
have peculiar recesses cut into the rock.  It has been suggested
that this area might have been used to restrain prisoners
attached to the wall.
 Stone eyelets and posts were used to attach the roofs.
This is a large vertical eye in the stone.  It is felt that
this was a receptacle for a torch.
That's me - MAX HEADROOM.
 For some long-ago reason, the architect felt that the window
wasn't quite large enough, so the bottom stone got hollowed
out to make it bigger.
Typical stair construction to go from one terrace to the next.

More soon!

Larry Reich

You may reach me with comments:

Laurence Reich 

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