|The quinoa mango pudding RA made again this afternoon.|
|Our Peruvian friend Miky looking over MP on our first trip there one year ago.|
|Their style of hats were similar though Hiram could not afford the leather jacket|
The best theory for me and others as to the "why" of Machu Picchu is embodied in the work and research of Johan Reinhard. His book "Machu Picchu -- Exploring and Ancient Sacred Center" seems to offer the best explanation for Machu Picchu and does not detract much from the other predominant theory that it was constructed as an estate for the Emperor Pachacuti.
Available on Amazon. If you buy a used copy be
certain it is the 4th Revised Edition.
Dr. Reinhard has proposed Machu Picchu should be understood in the context of the natural geographic features that surround the site. Its breathtakingly beautiful location must have struck the Inca in the same manner that draws a million tourists to the site annually. Venerating and reverencing mountains, rocks, caves, and rivers as sacred sites, (known as huacas), and even as gods, the location between the two mountain peaks of Machu and Huayna Picchu must have impressed Pachacuti, his priests, royal architects and engineers. Reinhard's explanation for MP is called the "Sacred Landscape" theory. The site's spectacular setting, design and construction are directly related to the significant mountains that surround it. In each of the cardinal directions is a significant mountain peak. Temple and site alignments within Machu Picchu are oriented to many and yet to be determined astronomical phenomenon including solar alignments of the solstices and equinox. The heliacal rising of the constellation Pleiades or Collca, as it was known among the Inca. was preeminent in the annual cycles of planting, weather prediction, and the harvesting of crops. The Inca worshipped and reverenced it as the guardian of seeds and planting. Americans and Japanese of course are very familiar with this constellation as it the logo for Subaru automobiles. (Thanks again Watson for your stellar education on the subject of Pleiades).
We have yet to observe the Southern Cross in the 14th months we have
here, maybe when we return to Cusco in two weeks.
The three tiered step is found throughout Peru though maybe the spiral will
now be replacing it.
Stones left in the quarry showing evidence of recent work and others left
sitting awaiting installation in the Temple of Three Windows.
Yes, guns, armor, and horses, carried the day at the Battle of Cajamarca
between Pizarro's 168 soldiers and six thousand Inca warriors but
ultimately it was germs that brought about the collapse of the
largest empire in the Americas.
A long period of incubation for smallpox exists allowing for its rapid spread. At least 12 days from first contact with the virus until the signs or symptoms of the pox appear. During this period the infected host is highly contagious so the disease could spread, as they say, 'like a wildfire.' Some social scientists have pondered and weighed the near extinction of all the indigenous of the Americas as a high price to have paid for Christianity and the alphabet.
Cows, horses, pigs, and camels did not exist in the Americas
at the time of the coming of the Europeans. Smallpox and
other diseases morphed, jumping from animals to humans. In
Europe natural immunities developed among the survivors
Existing stocks of smallpox held in the US and Russia should be disposed
of, lest new strains be developed and pose a threat to humanity. Potentially
as devastating as any nuclear arsenal.
One has to wonder what might have happened and turned in history if the Spanish had not brought disease to the Caribbean. I have also pondered several questions about the conquerors and vanquished. Specifically who was the worst? Were the Spanish any less bloodthirsty or driven less by conquest than the Inca? I am not sure I have an answer, but I do have an opinion. It would be this:
In the totality of comparison between the Inca vs. Conquistadores, in terms of brutality, and inhumanity to man, the Inca exceeded the Spanish with very little argument. Pertaining to the larger view of culture and civilization, the Spanish were guilty of cultural genocide and annihilation of the greatest magnitude and scale. Nothing in my study or knowledge of history compares to this so total and complete annihilation. Compounding the systematic and deliberate destruction of the icons of culture and religion of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, such as the temples, ceremonial centers, huacas, and shrines were the unforeseen consequences of biological warfare brought to the Americas by Christopher Columbus and subsequent so called European “explorers.”
|Machu Picchu -- The most beautiful place I have ever visited|