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PISAC
OLD TOWN

CUSCO


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PISAC

Old Town


The Archaeological Pisac is one of the most beautiful monumental centers; since it combines the landscape with the impeccable finishing of its constructions.
 
 
Pisac Introduction
Pisac
Old Town
Pisac
New Town
It is located at the highest hill of the city, on a dry and rocky surface.

Together with Cusco and Piquillacta, Pisac closes a 33-km equilateral triangle, precisely planned to protect the city from possible attacks of the Antis (Anti derives from "Andes" or mountains"), who were their worst enemies.

Just like it happened with other Incan constructions, some investigations state that it was not a fortress but a "royal hacienda", property of Inca Pachacutec. This hacienda was composed by cultivation terraces, household and ceremonial structures and aqueducts that provided the water for the agricultural development.

Some constructions, distributed along Pisac Old Town or the Archaeological Pisac are:


The wall
The wall does not have the conception that we currently know. Formerly, it corresponded to a continuous edification that was not necessary for the entire city. Some of its stones have amazing sizes.

It gathers five doors, located at the eastern part of the complex. The only door that has a lintel is called Amaru Punku, which means "Door of the Serpents".


The tunnels
There are two tunnels located at the Pisac hill. The first tunnel extends to the north and is 16-meter long; and the second one goes up the top and it has three meters and is much narrower.


The Incan bridge
The Pisac complex had more than one suspension bridge. One of them was located at Paccháyoc, where its bases still remain. The other bridge was located at the western side of the Intiwatana.


The stockrooms
They were constituted by six colcas with equal sizes that were arranged in lines. These structures must have been used as Incan stockrooms. They are located 200 meters away from the Intiwatana and it is necessary to pass through abysses so as to reach them. The path that connects these two colcas ends up in a 102-step grand staircase parallel to a water channel.


The sets of cultivation terraces
The agriculture was the main economical activity of Pisac. Therefore, there are 16 agricultural sectors that have complexes and advanced cultivation terraces. Five of these sectors are separated by walls.

Pisac is the place with the greatest stylistic variety of cultivation terraces. It has at least 14 different shapes of cultivation terraces that had been constructed from 2,995 to 3,450 m.a.s.l.


The Incan cemetery
It is located in front of the archaeological complex, only separated by the Quitamayu stream. It is an astonishing place located in a slope, belonging to the Linliy Mountain, which is almost one hundred meters high and has several kilometers of extension.

This cemetery is known as "Tankanamarka" (tankay= to push, marka = place; it can be translated as "launching place"), and must have contained 10,000 graves approximately.

The Incas believed in reincarnation, that is why they kept their mummies with all their properties and the necessary food (provisions) for their new life. When the Spaniards found out about this tradition, they did not hesitate to violate the graves and plunder the jewels, metals and precious stones. Nowadays, we can see small holes as a result from the profanations.


The "city" of the towers
Pisac is also known as the city of the Towers, since it has more than twenty towers, constructed on the projecting edges of the mountain, with a perfect finishing; very similar to the constructions of Sacasyhuaman. The precise function of them is still unknown; we can only say that some of them would have been associated to the water channels that existed in that place.


The Enchanted Ñusta
It is a place situated in the road to the south, which leads to the Ñustayoc hill. It is the statue of a woman that carries her knapsacks on her back. According to the city's tradition, this woman is Inquill, a princess that could not stand the curiosity to see the finished work of her fiancé.


Tiyanacuy
It is a small-size community located in the lower part of the city. Here you will be able to find a perfect seat for two persons, sculpted in stone.


Calla Casa
It is a group of buildings with irregular designs, rustically made, which are placed on the mountain top. It is difficult to get there and it is necessary to pass through some dangerous cliffs.


Písaca
To the southeast we can find another set of rectangular edifications, arranged in a curve, whose walls are considered to be the most perfect of the entire Tawantinsuyo. Near to this precinct, there is a construction that is similar to a vantage point. From here you will have an excellent view of the valley and the current town of Pisac.


The Intiwatana
This is one of the most significant ceremonial monuments of Pisac. Its location, from the mountain's upper part, domains most of the valley.

The type of its walls is "sedimentary" (the polished-stone couplings have a rectangular external surface). Its sides are carved with hand shapes enclosed in a semicircle; that is why it is considered as the Sun Temple of Pisac.

In the middle of the building there is a stone-carved altar also known as Intiwatana, which must have been used to watch the sun movements and as an altar to celebrate religious ceremonies: the worship of the god Sun or the sacrifices of animals. Likewise, to the west of the altar, people found a carved stone that could have served for astronomical observations. This stone represented the three Andean phases of the religious world: heaven, the earthly world and the subsoil.

The altar has the shape of a letter D, and it is perfectly positioned with the sun rise, in the solstice of June. It is only possible to see a similar rock in Machu Picchu.

The fountains and water channels also characterized this zone. It is said that they had strictly religious aims due to the carving quality. The main fountain is located 20 meters away from the central door of the complex, and it has two engravings by way of handles that could have been used for ceremonial baths.

During the Incan times, the Urubamba River was canalized from Pisac to Ollantaytambo with agricultural aims. Currently, there are many vestiges of the channel's lateral walls, and the Urubamba River flows in straight line 3.3 km away from the city.



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