Sacsayhuaman´s northern zone is as impressive as the so-called fortress.

While the fortress has to do mostly with huge stone blocks, the northern zone known as Suchuna or Rodadero deals with kind of “details” the Incas finely carved in the rock. They look like seats or benches that the Incas could have used as altars, I do not know. And there is much more!

I really like Suchuna and I have walked around it many times in order to discover everything. Thus, I just begin a series of three posts about this place with a lot of pics.

By the way, Suchuna means “slide” in Quechua, and you will know the reason of this on the next post. By now I can tell you that scholars think this place was an Inca cemetery.

Let us begin leaving the fortress and crossing the “esplanade of the royal spears” or Chukipampa.
But first, a couple of pics of Suchuna taken from the fortress.

View of Suchuna western section from the fortress stone door.

This panoramic shot of Suchuna (taken near Muyuqmarka at the fortress) shows a staircase to the right. Do you see it? Well, I have read that this stairway did not exist at Inca times. It is said that a bad archaeologist did it. Actually, the entrance to this site seems to have been to the west and it is just impressive.

So, let us go the west instead of going up the “tourist” stairway and let me show you what it is on the way.
Just to the left of the stairway, it is this carved stone. It seems to be part of a channel, but it does not make sense as this rock is just isolated.

a channel on the boulder?

On our way to the west, there is this niche or vaulted window that the cusqueño mystic José Altamirano Vallenas regards  it in his book “Saqsaywaman, Síntesis de la Cultura Andina” as a purification niche.

purification niche

This is part of the retaining wall with its finely carved stones:

Suchuna: retaining wall

Before turning around the hill, you find the foundations of a building which tells you of the importance of this site. It might look like the tower of Muyuqmarka. I have not found any news about the use or purpose of this building, though.

Foundation of a building near the retaining wall

After more retaining walls located in three or four floors, we finally get to the actual entrance to this site. Well, that is my own opinion and it is based on two facts: the fountain and the huge doorway. Even though the entrance is mostly destroyed, you can still see part of the pillars and the foundation of the door is knee-high.

The fountain and the destroyed entrance

Fountain: close up
The fountain next to the entrance

You can use the ancient entrance to go to the top of this hill, but let us come back to the “tourist” stairway. Next week I will show you what it is on the top.

Stairway to the top of Suchuna
Stairway to the top of Suchuna

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