Peru - Cusco's Sacred Valley, Part 3

    Andrys Basten, photos taken 5/22/97

The Stones of Ollantaytambo

        Ollantaytambo villager on mountain
Villager at top of Ollantaytambo

    I turned around and was delighted to see this colorfully dressed villager, who seemed a spirit from the past.

Click for enlarged version, which is definitely clearer (125k)

        Ruins at the top of  Ollantaytambo

    These ruins are up the steps a bit and may be ones said to be what's left of never completed temple areas, though they look to me more like practical fortress foundations.   (143k)

    In the picture to the right, you can see at the left, midway up, a path similar to the one we took by a wall and an opening like the one we walked through, but the one we were on had no walls to the left.

    Actually, this was obviously a doorway when there was a roof still, and the layout looks more like temple material to me.

    Corner stonework    
    This is a European from our small Sacred Valley tour group standing in front of a beautiful example of the careful stone work, with corners shaped by soft tools (according to a Nova show on best current theories) and stones fitted together with amazing precision.

    The jagged edges seen in these smaller pictures are a result of forcing the photos into low resolution. The enlarged versions show them more accurately.   (124k)

    See the next page for some theories on lugging and fitting the stones.

        Detail of stonework
Using no mortar, the Incas put these together so well that not even the blade of a knife can be put between any two pieces.

    These stones are in the area of the path or walkway shown on the previous page, on the wall to our right.   (137k)


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