Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ingapirca's ancient ruins

Five hundred years ago the Inca civilization extended from what is now Argentina to Bolivia, from the jungles of the Amazon to the highlands of the Andes. Machu Picchu, the center of that civilization, is the best known remains and is enormous. In Ecuador, the largest ruin is small by comparison, but it has a quiet sense which I find more appealing. And, the site, Ingapirca, contains not only Inca but an earlier Canari temple and civilization.

During the Spanish era, much of the area was desecrated, the beautifully chiseled stones carted off for churches and homes. But some remained. Some stones have been returned to the site. And today, the Canari people still use the site for religious ceremonies. The Inca's chiseled and fitted the stones so carefully that they did not require mortar. And the earlier Canari people had learned to make doorways and windows with an arch to make them earthquake resistant.

The Inca Temple was to the sun. It was situated so that on the solstices, the sun would light up an area, through the doorways. The Canari worshipped the moon. One of the remainders of that worship is a rock with water holding indentations. Each night the moon would center in a different hole, making this an early calendar.

scenery on the rough road to Ingapirca. Heavy rains left rock slides and good sized chuckholes

1 comment:

The Merrymans said...

Martha and I really enjoyed your photos and commentary. We appreciate you taking us on your visit to a beautiful country.
We are going to the Rio Grand Valley again this winter. It is too early to plan for the summer, but it will be WY/MT or Newfoundland again. We always enjoy visiting with you so we will certainly plan to see you if it is WY/MT this summer.

Gene and Martha

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