Cusco: Saksaywaman

Saksaywaman near Cuzco, Peru

Saksaywaman near Cuzco, Peru

Saksaywaman is a fortress-like complex that was originally built by the Kilke people around 1100 CE. When the Inca conquered the Kilke, they expanded the complex further. After the Spanish conquered the Inca, they destroyed as much as they can and reused the stones to build other structures such as churches.

Because of its structure and the style, historians widely believe Saksaywaman was a fortress and not a temple. Some of the stones used in the structure were so massive that they weighed between 90 to 120 tons. Stones were of different sizes and shapes but were perfectly fused together like a Jigsaw puzzle. It is not fully understood how this structure was constructed by the people who did not have sophisticated tools or machinery.

As you can see from the image, the Saksaywaman fortress was built with polygonal walls. The polygonal walls get their name from the polygonal shapes of the stones that were used to build the wall. Notice that the Polygonal Wall shown in the image has few curved stones, besides polygonal stones.

One of the main advantages of the polygonal walls is that they withstand earthquakes very well. Cuzco and the nearby areas are located on a severe earthquake zone, and the Inca structures seem to have withstood earthquakes very well.

Related Pages
Inca Civilization, Ancient Cultures of Peru, Cusco, Lima, Machu Picchu, Peru

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