Cusco Travel Guide

CUSCO TRAVEL GUIDE - TRAVEL TO CUSCO PERU
Travel and Tourism Cusco, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail
and Peru Tours, Complete Tourist Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

SACSAYHUAMAN

 


SACSAYHUAMAN

 

Sacsayhuamán (also known as Saksaq Waman, Sacsahuaman or Saxahuaman) is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca empire. The complex is as many other Inca constructions made of large polished dry-stone walls, each boulder carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.

Located on a steep hill that overlooks the city, it contains an impressive view of the valley to the southeast. Surface collections of pottery at Sacsayhuaman indicate that the earliest occupation of the hill top dates back at least a millennium[citation needed] and excavations have revealed that there was a substantial early-Inca (Killke Period) occupation[citation needed. The complex was greatly expanded during the period of Inca imperial rule and has now become one of the most famous archaeological sites in the Americas

Because of its location high above Cuzco and its immense terrace walls, this area of Sacsayhuaman is frequently referred to as a fortress. Some writers also believe the complex was built specifically to represent the head of a puma, the effigy shape which Sacsayhuamán together with Cuzco forms when seen from above citation needed. The importance of its military functions was highlighted in 1556 when Manco Inca lay siege to Cuzco. Much of the fighting occurred in and round Sacsayhuaman as it was critical for maintaining control over the city. It is clear from descriptions of the siege, as well as from excavations at the site, that there were towers on its summit as well as a series of other buildings citation needed. For example Pedro Sancho, who visited the complex before the siege, mentions the labyrinth like quality of the complex and the fact that it held a great number of storage rooms filled with a wide variety of items[citation needed. He also notes that there were buildings with large windows that looked over the city. These structures, like so much of the site, have long since been destroyed.

 



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