In this post, I will show you the most northern area of Sacsayhuaman archaeological site.
As I keep on walking north from the so-called Fortress, I find other impressive remains which are covered with mystery. The 16th and 17th century chroniclers barely describe them and archaeology has to deal with a lot of uncertainty and scholars do not agree on the purpose of these buildings.
To the north of Suchuna or Rodadero, it is Muyukancha or Round Plaza. However, most guides and local people call it the Qocha or Lagoon in Quechua. Actually those two names come from the purpose this site could have had in Inca times.
Some scholars claim this site was an amphitheater because of 55 vaulted niches carved on the walls. It is said the Incas put mummies over there to worship them.
Others state it was a water reservoir. This could be true and I have seen at least two water cannals that head north to other buildings (fifth and sixth pics below). However, the Spanish conquistador Pedro Pizarro wrote there was no water here.
I have also read this site was the Temple of the Water. It also says there are carved animals on the stones, like pumas and frogs, but I could not find them. 😦
Farther north, there is the Chinkana or Maze. It is a series of underground tunnels which were carved by water and then the Incas took advantage of it to build niches and seats.
One hypothesis says this could have been a cemetery where the Incas put their mummies. A second theory states this was a water drain from the Qocha or Lagoon. This is unlikely since a bronze burial breastplate with carved pumas and snakes was found in this area.
This area is known as Chinkana Chica or small as it is another one known as Chinkana Grande or Large farther north (below).
You can enter these tunnels but remember to watch your head and bring a flashlight as it is completely dark.
Around the Chinkana Chica, I spotted this carved stone which seems to have been a small Intihuatana or solar observatory:
One water canal from Muyukancha or Qocha goes to the west into a sacred place for sure.
Actually, this is one my favourite places in Sacsayhuaman, and it is uncommon guides get this far.
We are nearly finishing our tour around Sacsayhuaman.
Our last stop, though, is known as the Chinkana Grande. It is a huge boulder which according to legend it did not want to move when the Incas were carrying it to the Fortress. From then on it is also known as the Piedra Cansada or Tired Stone.
The stone is finely carved especially on top with stairs, seats, niches and altars.
To the northeast of the boulder there was an entrance to an underground tunnel which now is closed because there is a story about it. A couple entered and never found the way out.
The chronicler Cristóbal de Albornoz called this boulder as Qollo Qoncho due to the shape of this sacred place and the presence of springs and water canals.
In this site, the Incas could have worshipped their deaths.
And that´s it! All Sacsayhuaman for you! Actually I love Sacsayhuaman and I am hiking once a week to this site. Next week, I will show you a way up and down to this site from the main square.