An Archaeoastronomical Survey of Major Inca Sites in Peru

June 2007
Archaeoastronomy;2007/2008, Vol. 21, p20
Academic Journal
Because of the nearly total destruction of Inca culture by the Spanish, our knowledge of Inca astronomy is incomplete. To document the astronomical contexts of their major monuments, we created 360° calibrated panoramas at nine sites to determine the rising and setting locations for the Pleiades and Sun on significant days in the Inca's calendar. Significant finds include the June solstice sunrise established by horizon pillars above Huayna Capac's palace at Urubamba; the ceremonial niche at Saihuite facing the June solstice sunrise; cardinal orientation of structures at Vilcashuaman and Saihuite; the alignments of the corridor and water channel of Llactapata toward Machu Picchu and the June solstice sunrise; features at Ollantaytambo facing the sunrises of the December and June solstices; and the sunrise on the day of the zenith Sun at Sondor.


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