Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Inca ruins of Tipon

The ruins of Tipon, located south of Cuzco were in some ways very similar to other Inca ruins I´d visited, and yet in other ways very unique.  Basically, the Inca build elaborate terraces at this site, for growing potatoes.  The acquaduct system was built with straight canals flowing one into an  other.  The acquaducts flow now as they did some 600 to 800 years ago.

 By building terraces, fed by mountain water, the Inca were able ti increase vastly their production of foods.

 Here the irrigation canal branches off to feed the terrace on the left.

 The lines of the canals are so straight and the water flows smoothly from one canal to another.  Each canal then irrigated the terrace below it.

 Toward the top of the terraces, a bathing area for the nobility.  The water was ...... cool if not cold.

To get from one terrace to another, the Inca built in their own stone ladders.  This shot gives one an idea of how high each of these terraces was built.

 The Inca ruins to Tipon are located 3,900 meters, or some 12,800 feet above sea level.  That´s the valley below I´m pointing at.  I can´t even imagine what it must have been like to the Inca to climb the thousands of stairs it must have took to get from the valley bottom to the top terrace....

 The acquaducts that provided all the water for growing the potatoes, has  four channels near the top of the terraces.  It is thought these four symbolized the four directions of north, south, east and west.

 Up just a little above the four channels are two channels .... one flowing faster than the other.  The faster one it is believed symbolized hell, and the slower one heaven....

 At the very top, one channeland with this single channel comes a major mystery.  Where does the water come from?  The channel disappears into the mountain behind where I stood to take this picture.  But thre are no lakes, rivers or glaciers on the mountains behind me that could possibly feed this stream.  It does not snow in these mountains either.  Whether it rains or not, the level of the stream stays the same.  So what source of water did the Inca tap into that in this modern age, with all our technology, we can not find or figure out?

 To the right of the terraces, were some Inca buildings.  I looked up.... and there were Shaman on their way to bless the buildings through a despacho..... offerings to Mother Earth.

 The Shaman walked through each of the buildings, making their offerings in each of the nitches in the walls.

 As quickly as they had come, the Shaman were gone.

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