Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Inca Terraces

Those busy Incas!

The Inca empire was not much more than 140 years old before the Spanish conquest and to see what they constructed in that brief time is incredible.  What struck me while visiting was the intentionality - the planing.  Their projects were not iterative ....successive waves of improvement, rather they were implemented with a high standard of workmanship towards a master plan.  The experts recon Machu Picchu was build over a period of 100 years - sort of like starting a final drawing in one corner and filing the page, except for that each stone took hours to carry and fit.

These terraces were constructed to optimize  crop space - what the crops were and why they couldn't be grown in the valley lands, I haven't learned, but can only assume there were compelling reasons to go to so much effort.  And here they are 600 years later - truly a cultural landscape.

1 comment:

  1. The Inca sketches are spectacular. Agriculture on terrace landscape optimizes the growth of specific crops at specific climatic zones. Water is fresher and cleaner at higher elevations, providing the best nourishment to the plants. Some of the fortress stone structures at or near peaks stored the gold and silver wealth of this magnificent civilization. The engineering technology of cutting and moving huge stonework remains a mystery to this day.