Civilization - Inca Architecture
Inca Architecture - Inca Pyramids - Ancient American Civilization of PeruThe most visible remains of the extenisve Inca Civilization of Peru are its amazing structures - its Inca architecture.
While traveling in Peru, especially in the southern mountains, you will see many examples of the oustanding Incan architecture workmanship in:
Ancient American Civilization of PeruIn building their houses and temples, the ancient american civilizations of the Incas and their ancestors used mainly materials like adobe and stone in their architecture.
The stone was worked in such a precise and accurate way that later, when the Incas placed these stone blocks together to form buildings, they fit so tightly that a razor coould not slip into the joints between the stones.
When building fortresses, the Incas used larger stones of immense size; whereas when building palaces or lesser buildings, relatively smaller stones were used in the architecture.
No matter what size of stone was used in their buildings, the joints always fit together perfectly and a large number of these amazing structures exist intact until today.
"Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves."
~ Julia Morgan
Prior to the ancient American civilization of the Incas, there was also the complex culture of the Tiahuanaco people, and, long before them, the Wari culture.
Even before the Wari ancient American civilization in Peru, there existed other
pre-Columbian civilizations that perhaps contributed to what we see now in structures of the Peruvian Incas and the Incan pyramids.
Cuzco (Cusco). You can see the original Incan structures still being used in modern times as in this photo of a typical street in downtown Cusco.
Other important strongholds were those of Pisac and Machu Picchu, which
are, together with Cuzco, the main archaeological sites representative of Inca
Within these fortresses were Inca pyramids (huacas) and evidences of earlier ancient American civilizations in Peru.
Machu Picchu, the most impressive urban settlement of the Inca Empire, whose name means "old mountain", is nestled in the Andes, 2,045 meters above sea level. It ranges over four hills, and was brought to the world's attention by explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911.
Lake Titicaca, the Temple of the Sun in Cuzco, Peru, and the Temple of Three Windows in Machu Picchu, Peru.
As for the Peruvian Inca architecture seen in their palaces, the most outstanding one is that of the Ñustas (princesses) also located in Machu Picchu.
More examples of the building design of the ancient American civilization of the Incas of PeruOther representative Inca architecture in Peru is seen in the intricacies of Tambo Colorado in Pisco as well as the Inca part of the Huaca (Inca pyramids) "La Centinela." Both of these sites are located in the Department of Ica in southern Peru.
"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness."
~ Frank Gehry
Chan Chan in Peru.
These Inca pyramids, also called huacas or guacas (pronounced wah cah - Quechua waca, god of the house) are actually pyramid bases designed as residences for the various deities, although the Mochica culture of Peru did use them for administrative purposes.
Among the Quechua people of the Inca Empire in Peru, it was common to build a stepped pyramidal structure of small or medium proportions to simbolize or commemorate a mountain.
Called "ushnus," these Inca pyramids were a type of platform or stage, usually located in the center of a community, that was used for rituals as a kind of altar. These Inca pyramids were also used for by the king for administrative functions; official mandates were usually issued from these symbolic centers of power.
Note: The truncated non-Inca pyramids in Peru (ie, leveled on top and different in other ways from Inca pyramids) of ancient American civilization in Peru were generally built with adobe, material with a very low resistance. So, over time, most of these buildings have disappeared or are in ruins.
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