Sacsaywaman was a fortified city built around its main feature, a Sun Temple in the hills above the valleys of Cusco in Peru. It is made of huge dry stone blocks carved to fit perfectly with each other without mortar or cement so that not even a single sheet of paper can fit between the stones.
The historic and archaeological records always attribute the building of these huge stone cities to the Incan Empire dating back to the 15th Century, with the Spanish Conquistadors finding and conquering each of the cities less than 100 years later. It is clear that the Incan certainly lived within and amongst these cities, but their own houses and dwellings were instead built on top of the huge stone blocks and their wall constructions and repairs were far less elaborate and less complicated than the buildings and walls that preceded them. The Incan used much smaller gathered stones piled together in crude layers, infilled between the gaps of the larger stones and no evidence indicates that their abilities and tools used would have allowed them to quarry, move and carve the stones in such a perfect and sophisticated manner.
The stone above has been shaped in ten differing places to fit exactly against the stones that surrounded it. This allowed for a multi-lateral movement to occur that was far more successful in surviving the shaking and rocking created by powerful earthquakes which has brought down many a building since the first western settlors arrived in the 1500's.
Sacsaywaman is said to take its name from the Quechan language "waman" for hawk. While spending some time without disturbance from other visitors at the Sun Temple overlooking the vast city of Cusco stretching out through the valleys below, I was joined by a Kestrel hawk using the base rock in order to launch off and catch dragonfly. It then brought them back and ripped the wings off before flying away, presumably to a nest to which to feed its young. It was obviously successful as there was quite a pile of wings next to this rock.
As I often find, sitting still and quiet, would often allow the local wildlife to settle down to their normal routines around the area, without the interference of humans bringing loud noises and strange smells to their habitats.
It was an honour to meet the Genius Loci of Sacsaywuman in hawk form.
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