This is part 3 of researcher and writer Brien Foerster’s regular column here at Grahamhancock.com. Brien’s study and insight into the Inca’s ancient origins shed a new light on that famous South American culture. The implications are both startling and far reaching suggesting a connection to a pan Pacific civilization reaching back to mankind’s most distant past. Join Brien on the GrahamHancock.com Mysteries Message Board where he will be conducting a continuing discussion surrounding his research and regular contributions to these pages. Please check in for the next installment from Brien.
The greatest mystery about the Inca is not their accomplishments, but their origins. Where could such a sophisticated culture have come from?
It is well written through accounts of the conquistadors, and Inca descendants that these people came to Cuzco as a fully developed society; teaching agriculture, metallurgy, animal husbandry, textile weaving, and the arts of warfare and politics, amongst other civilizing pursuits, to seemingly less developed people who were already inhabiting the area.
Cultures clearly don’t appear out of no where fully developed, unless they just climbed out of a space ship; and I am not going to entertain this idea in this paper; such an idea is both too far fetched and too easy, at the same time.
Tiwanku and the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca are the most commonly believed source places of the Inca. This is based on the fact that very old stone ruins, and traceable archaeological remnants have been found in both locations which clearly predate the most commonly believed Inca age of Cuzco, that being that the city was first entered by the Inca about the year 1200 AD.
Tiwanaku ( or Tiahuanaco ) is clearly a mysterious place. Many writers have questioned how such an advanced culture could have survived and even thrived at its 13000 foot high elevation. Rainfall is scant here, and the only crops that grow are potatoes and quinoa, an Andean grain.
Yet archaeologists suggest that the population of Tiwanaku was between 100,000 and 1,000,000 at it’s height, about 600 to 800 AD. A rather ingenious system of raised bed agriculture, called Suka Kollus allowed the Tiwanakans to produce up to 21 tons of potatoes per hectare, while modern agriculture techniques at lower altitudes produce 14.5 tons per hectare, and non Suka Kollus production in the Bolivian altiplano produces a meagre 2.4 metric tons per hectare.
The raised bed system allowed such high yields because the soil could contain and hold more water, and daily heating by the sun kept the crops from freezing overnight.
Tiwanaku is believed to have been abandoned about 1000 AD as the result of a combination of things; an El Nino event that lasted 40 years, and the attack by war-like Aymara speaking Wari people. It is probable that the El Nino induced drought heavily weakened the population, thus allowing the Wari to easily overtake them.
The more radical thoughts about the age of Tiwanaku are most often attributed to the Bolivian engineer Arthur Posnansky, who postulated its age as being in the area of 12,000 years ago, and his claims were made in 1943 in his final and most important book Tihuanacu, the Cradle of American Man.
He calculated this date based on archeoastronomy, as follows. Since Earth is tilted on its axis in respect to the plane of the solar system, the resulting angle is known as the “obliqueness of the ecliptic” (one should not confuse this with another astronomical phenomenon known as “Precession”, as critics of Posnansky have done). If viewed from the earth, the planets of our solar system travel across the sky in a line called the plane of the ecliptic.
At present our earth is tilted at an angle to of 23 degrees and 27 minutes, but this angle is not constant. The angle oscillates slowly between 22 degrees and 1 minute miminum to an extreme of 24 degrees and 5 minutes. A complete cycle takes roughly 41,000 years to complete. The alignment of the Kalasasaya temple at Tiwanaku depicts a tilt of the earth’s axis amounting to 23 degrees, 8 minutes, 48 seconds, which according to astronomers, indicates a date of 15,000 B.C.
Between 1927 and 1930 Prof. Posnansky’s conclusions were studied intensively by a number of authorities. Dr. Hans Ludendorff (Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Potsdam), Friedrich Becker of the Specula Vaticana, Prof. Arnold Kohlschutter (astronomer at Bonn University), and Rolf Müller (astronomer of the Institute of Astrophysics at Potsdam) verified the accuracy of Posnansky’s calculations and vouched for the reliability of his conclusions.
The site called Puma punku, which is very close to Tiwanaku, is perhaps the most perplexing archaeological site not only in the Andes, but all of South America.
What is left of Puma punku (the gate of the Puma) is only a small percent of what must have once been there. Today we find the shattered remains, in red sandstone and diorite, of what must have once been an incredibly sophisticated technological culture.
Much of Puma punku, and Tiwanaku have been removed over the centuries by local people and government officials in La Paz, Bolivia, to make other buildings, and indeed, many of the stones which made up these places were crushed to make the rail bed of the train transport system.
Yet what is left of Puma punku is truly awe inspiring, not in volume, but in the incredibly carved surfaces that remain. Even a cursory inspection of the diorite stones shows an incredibly high precision of detailed cutting and sculpting. Tool marks are not visible, and the flat surfaces and 90 degree angles and plane interfaces are essentially perfect.
Could this have been achieved using bronze tools and obsidian tools? Highly unlikely. Indeed, the suggestion of such an idea is preposterous. Several holes, some as small as less than a centimetre in diameter, were clearly achieved with drills. And channels cut in others, some longer than a meter, must have been done with a router like tool.
The most famous and enigmatic structure at Tiwanaku is the Sun Gate; one solid slab of diorite about 8 feet high and 10 feet across with a door in the center. The image of Viracocha, the creator god, is carved in low relief above the doorway entrance, the rest of the upper portion of the stone, where a lintel would be had the structure been made of three or more pieces, is adorned with “birdman” characters.
A massive diagonal crack in the structure shows that it was, in the distant past, the victim of some sort of catastrophic event. Erosion along the edges of the crack, and the fact that diorite is one of the hardest stones in the world, would lead one to believe that the damage took place in deep antiquity, and not the result of it having simply fallen over.
Also, most of Tiwanku is composed of red sandstone blocks, with the odd diorite one added in, in a somewhat haphazard manner. The reconstruction of the site was conducted during the 1960s?, and the workmanship can hardly be called high quality. In fact, the rebuilding was probably undertaken as guesswork, as no blueprints or even oral traditions exist that could help in the reconstruction.
What seems to be original, just like in some of the megalithic sites in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of Peru, are the largest of stones, being made of hard limestone or sandstone. These form what are the outline of the Kalasasaya complex. Though filled in with the red sandstone/diorite walls today, there is no reason why these large “marking stones” which are approximately 20 feet apart, could not have been separate standing stones (like Stonehenge) in the distant past.
The huge size would have dissuaded plunderers from attempting to convert them into smaller building materials, and thus they may in fact be in their original locations.
The Sun Gate, it is known, has been moved from its original location; but where would that have been? The most obvious place is Puma punku, as that is where we find the majority of diorite stones, and those of high precision finish and sculpting.
Also, on top of the Akapana Pyramid, which is next to the Kalasasaya, is another diorite Sun Gate. This one lies flat on the ground, and is in pieces, but is of the same shape and size as it’s more famous twin. It has also clearly been moved from its original place, which again I suggest is Puma punku.
Moreover, there are two more Sun Gates, same size and shape again. And where do we find these; Puma punku. Both are lying flat and broken, but their original shapes are self-evident. Could these four Sun Gates have been originally positioned at the four cardinal points? It seems quite obvious that this could have been so.
All of the main structures or “compounds” at Tiwanaku are square in shape, except the Akapana, which is 12 sided, yet sits within a square courtyard, and all are more or less in perfect alignment with each other, except for the Akapana, which is slightly askew.
Puma punku, on the other hand, is about 45 degrees “off” in relation to the other buildings in the area. It is not being suggested that the planet had shifted so dramatically in it’s axis that Puma punku was once aligned with north and south, but it’s odd positioning has not been explained by other researchers.
Perhaps even more interesting is the presence of what Cuzco researcher Jesus Gamarra, based on his father Alfredo’s earlier work, calls Hanan Pacha stone work. This is defined as large and exposed bedrock, often andesite, which has clearly been manipulated by human hands, often in the form of cut out “seats” or similar depressions.
But this is not at Puma punku, but situated in a field, abandoned and covered with tall grass, northeast of the Kalasasaya complex. No one has even dared to date these stones, or discover who shaped them, as they are categorized under the topic of what researcher Michael Cremo would call “forbidden archaeology”; structures or artefacts that don’t fit within the theories and timelines of general archaeological thought, and are thus either hidden or ignored.
By far the greatest quantity and quality of Hanan Pacha structures are found in the area above Cuzco, in the proximity of Sachsayhuaman, and in the nearby Sacred Valley. So numerous are these “forbidden” artefacts, some, such as Qenqo, Chinkana and Amaru Machay, which are bigger than a house, that Jesus Gamarra suggests that there are possibly 5000 of them in the general area.
If, as theorized, Hanan Pacha works are as old or even older than Tiwanaku or Puma Punku, then could Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of Peru be much more ancient than most archaeologists suggest? It would seem so.
As has been discussed earlier, general consensus by academia would have us believe that Cuzco was first inhabited by the Inca in 1200 AD, and that they “civilized” the inhabitants found there. Then who made the andesite Hanan Pacha works, which are clearly, based on weathering patterns alone, several thousand years old?
Indeed, all works universally attributed to the Inca become very suspect when the Hanan Pacha works, and others, are looked at and taken into account.
The Coricancha, or “Courtyard Of Gold” which has been well established as having been the center of the Inca world since their arrival, has not been satisfactorily explained as to the date of construction, or even how it was achieved.
The great outer wall that faces the Avenida del Sol, and has a major protruding curve in its design, on top of which stands the Church of Santo Domingo, of Spanish colonial origin, is composed of curved basalt blocks, approximately 2 feet on each side. The basalt of which it is constructed was quarried from a site 60 km away.
Are we led to believe that a culture that has just arrived in a new place goes to the trouble of accessing stone from this great distance to build its first major structure?
It is far more plausible that the Coricancha was already there, and that the Inca adopted it, and expanded on it over time, as can equally be said for Sachsayhuaman, the grand “fortress” that stands on a hill just north of Cuzco.
The latter is probably the most famous of “Inca” achievements due to its grand scale. It is a zigzag wall consisting of three levels, with the largest stones being employed on the first or ground level. Each block is unique in shape and size, with some being at least 18 feet tall, 4 feet in depth, and perhaps approaching 100 tons, or more, in weight.
The stone on this level is a highly crystallized limestone, having a creamy colour. Aside from the grand size of each stone, is the fact that many show shallow depressions, some rectangular in nature, as if the stones were moulded and shaped like dough or soft concrete. Moreover, if the surface of these stones had been finished, in terms of shaping, with hard stone such as obsidian, why are there no tool marks? Were they sanded down as some would propose?
Palace enclosures, such as that where the Sapa Inca Pachacutec was born, just across the street from the Coricancha, show marks on the outer surface of the stones of white dots, which are tool marks left by the builders. So if Sachsayhuaman is contemporary with this building, give or take 100 years, where are the tool marks?
The suggestion that quartz sand and water were used as a way to polish the stone surfaces of Sachsayhuaman, and thus reduce or erase the presence of tool marks is preposterous. If this had been the case, then why had the shallow depressions described above have been left? Aesthetically, that would be the equivalent of a furniture maker polishing a table top, and leaving hammer marks in the surface behind.
And what of the curious nodes that project out of stones, for example, inside the Coricancha, and more impressively, in the green granite polygonal blocks of the palace attributed to the Sapa Inca, Inca Roca, and perhaps best seen in the alleyway called Hatunrumiyoq, a few blocks from the Coricancha.
Coventional scholarship states that these nodes were left, on purpose by the builders, as a projection under which a rope could be placed in order to assist in the raising of the stone to its present position. But why then would the builders, who cared so much about making the stones interlock so perfectly, so that a “human hair could not fit in the joints” leave these nodes behind? Surely they would have been chipped off and smoothed so as to not leave a trace of their presence?
The greatest proof that the Inca did not construct everything attributed to them is easy to see once you observe a simple example of how three distinct styles of construction, greatly different in quality and materials, can be found in the same exact space.
As an introduction, and returning to the Coricancha, or more exactly, a wall across the lane on its east side, is an interesting corner. At the base, and north side of this corner, and moving up about 8 feet, one finds perfectly fitting green granite polygonal blocks. Continuing up, the stone changes to being andesite, with the stones being smaller, and more uniform in size. And on the east side, crudely put together unfinished stones, held together with clay mortar, complete the wall.
An aberration? Not so. Walking north, along Loreto street, which once led from the Coricancha to the present Plaza de Armas, the current nucleus of Cuzco, the wall (of an Inca palace) on the left hand side is made up of stones that are approximately one foot long on each side, and show the white point marks, indicating where the builder had used a pointed hard stone to finish the surface. Yet, on the other side of this street, is a wall, again of a palace, where the stones are more tightly fitted together and show no sign of tool marks.
How could these two walls, which would be more or less contemporary, be so different in finish. And why would the Coricancha be the only large structure in the whole city having at least one wall made of basalt, and be curved with a flat surface, while the others are of andesite or granite, with each stone having a slightly pillow like convex shape. The whim of the builder?
The so-called Hanan Pacha constructions are at least as bewildering, if not more so. Again, these are areas of seeming bedrock that have been clearly shaped and/or sculpted. None seem to be present in the city of Cuzco itself, but in the hills above, some being close to Sachsayhuaman, they are in great abundance.
Due north of the zigzag wall of Sachsayhuaman, perhaps half a kilometre away, is the Chinkana; a single stone the size of a large house, composed of andesite. All over its surface, and especially on its crown, are hundreds of carved out impressions, forming what look like seats and round pits, many being more than a foot deep.
Also, on the north side, there are three large cut out “thrones” on which the Sapa Inca, his Coya (first wife) and the highest Nuestra (Virgin of the Sun) would sit during special occasions. The odd thing is, that less than 30 feet away there is the base of a hill that rises up several hundred feet. So what would these regal people be looking at from these hewn out thrones? A corn patch?
On the south side we find a great example of where this Hanan Pacha “temple” for lack of a better word meets with other styles and probably ages of construction. Butting into the Hanan Pacha structure are two polygonal walls of tight fitting stones that form perfectly into its curved surface. The former has been called, by Jesus and Alfredo Gamarra, Uran Pacha, which is thought to be a later form of construction than Hanan Pacha.
Indeed, the Gamarras also believe that the zigzag wall of Sachsayhuaman, and the green granite walls of Hatunrumiyoq are of this Uran Pacha period. Polygonal tight-fitting and uniquely shaped stones seem to be the hall marks of this time and style of building.
Adjoining the Uran Pacha walls at the Chinkana are other walls, which again meld into and even cap the Uran Pacha ones; these the Gamarras call Ukun Pacha, and are believed to be the style most used by the Inca.
Ukun Pacha is best described as constructions employing small (a foot or less long on each side) reasonably tightly fit together, with the white points still observable of the makers finish, or even cruder stones, of random and yet small size “glued together” with clay based “adobe” or mud.
The finest display of this, perhaps, is to be seen at Ollantayatmbo, a huge site in the Sacred Valley which is now also the terminus of the Machu Picchu train.
The great agricultural terraces that climb up the northern hillside of the main part of this complex is Ukun Pacha; clearly constructed during Inca times to feed an expanding population. However, to the left of this area, and more than 100 feet above the beginning of the terraces is a beautiful polygonal Uran Pacha wall, composed of blocks averaging 4 feet or more on each side. The joints are technically perfect, and there are many of the protruding nodes that have been described earlier in this paper.
Even more spectacular than this wall is the now heavily damaged Temple of the Sun. The stones here, most in a state of disarray, are made of pink granite. In the whole complex of Ollantaytambo, a site that takes up hundreds of acres, only here do we find pink granite, aside from individual Herculean blocks, clearly originally from here, that lay on the valley floor, far below.
Some of the pink granite stones are 15 feet long, and 6 feet high and deep. Conventional archaeologists suggest that this was an Inca project which was abandoned before the arrival of the Spanish, but it takes little or no imagination to see that a cataclysm had destroyed what was once an intact temple.
Far off to the right of the terraces, away from where most tourists venture to spend time, is the Temple of the Condor. This andesite rock face, at least 200 feet high, takes the form of a giant bird, complete with head, beak, neck, and wing. It could very be a natural formation, but what is not are the multiple Hanan Pacha “cut outs” and “stairways” that literally cover the area.
Also, at the base are the scattered stone remains of different buildings, long ago destroyed. And I mean destroyed, not damaged. The archaeologists, unable to figure out which block goes where, have simply stacked these stones in neat piles. Some are andesite, and others basalt. Many are simple yet finely finished, while others have impressions or large square notches which remind one of the ruins of Puma punku, back in Bolivia.
So was all of this conceived and built during the time of the Inca, from about 1200 to 1532 AD, when the Spanish arrived. Hardly.
And finally, let us visit the crown jewel of all of the Inca`s great accomplishments, or at least the most lauded, Machu Picchu. Again, conventional knowledge states that this great and lofty citadel was built, exclusively, by Sapa Inca Pachacutec, over the course of his reign of perhaps 30 years.
If the above is true, then why are there explicit examples of Hanan Pacha and Uran Pacha there, and strategically placed. Like many ancient cities or large sacred places, it is easy to see where the first constructions of Machu Picchu are.
The Intihuatana, or Hitching Post of the Sun is not simply a finely shaped large piece of stone. It is the highest example of exposed bedrock in the area, and clearly Hanan Pacha. Also, the interior of the Temple of the Sun, which is nearby, has all of the hall marks of being either Hanan Pacha, or Uran Pacha at the latest. It is exposed bedrock with the same type of moulded depressions that one finds at Sachsayhuaman.
Surrounding both the Intihuatana and the Temple of the Sun`s core are the finest wall constructions to be found at Machu Picchu. The stone is white granite, as is most of the whole city, and here the stones, some 10 feet long and 8 feet high, at the base of the Intihuatana, fit perfectly together. The farther one goes from these two famous constructions, in general, the poorer the craftsmanship.
It is not hard to theorize that the Intihuatana and Temple of the Sun, as well as the Temple of the Condor which is not far away, form the early nucleus of this complex, and are far more ancient than most archaeologists believe. Like any major sacred place, later cultures came and added to it. In the case of the Inca, the last of its inhabitants, the huge system of agricutural terraces and most of the houses were most likely built under the watchful eye of Pachacutec.
In the next paper I would like to more deeply probe into Ollantaytambo, because this place, which very much takes a back seat to Machu Picchu in the eyes of scholars and the general public alike, holds deep secrets about the Inca and their origins as a distinct people.
The early writer Fernando de Montesinos, much maligned by his contemporaries, may hold keys to the early stages of the Inca. According to him, more than 60 rulers, in succession, called Amautas, preceded Manco capac, who is commonly thought of as the first Sapa Inca; the one who left the Titicaca region about 1000 AD and founded Cuzco about 1200 AD.
The Amautas did not live in Cuzco, according to Montesinos, but at Ollantaytambo, whose original name was House of the Dawn.