Located at an elevation of 12,000 feet a short distance north of Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman was an Inca fortress. It is now in ruins, plundered, as usual, by the Spanish conquistadores. Besides killing countless native South Americans, they looted the Inca culture for gold and silver, drove the native religion underground, and decimated their monuments. The conquistadores did a thorough job of plundering Sacsayhuaman, hauling away anything that was movable. What remains is not movable and that is what is remarkable.
Sacsayhuaman provides compelling evidence of technologies beyond the abilities of a culture that didn’t even have the benefits of the wheel. Consider that the battlement walls of Sacsayhuaman are built of enormous andesite stones found nowhere near the site. They are believed to originate from several quarries ranging 12 to 46 miles distant. The largest stones weigh 128 to 200 tons. They were apparently hauled — somehow — over severe terrain. Conventional theories on transporting them usually mention a combination of ropes, ramps, and the labor of hundreds or thousands of workers. The details vary because nobody really knows for sure.
We will explore this amazing site on horseback, including the temple of the moon.