The pyramid of Intiwuatana

This incredible pyramid building is located in the Hanan sector of the urban area. The exact location of the pyramid of Intiwuatana is situated on the slopes of one of the hills and that is why it was designed to take a pyramidal shape. This was possible after turning the skirts of the hill into level embankments forming a structuring of terraces and runners on a polygonal basis which takes the appearance of a pyramid.

The main entrances of the building are two sets of long steps, one in the north and the second one in the south of the building, each one in opposite sides. One of them was designed to hold seventy-eight steps, which represents a superb construction work. Most of the steps were exceptionally carved in one of the Rocky massifs of the Hill. This staircase leads to an outdoor chamber that recalls a patio where, the incredible same architecture designs can be seen on every single wall of the courtyard.

From this chamber, the visitors can get access to the top of the building. The pyramid is surrounded by the most valued buildings for the citizens of Machu Picchu because of their religious and spiritual meaning, something essential for theIncan civilization; this is one of the reasons that clearly explains why the access through the above mentioned staircase engraved by hand in stone has such a magnificent design, considering that the foundation the steps is a huge granite rock hill.

Just right in the middle of the chamber, a device that recalls one of those fascinating gadgets of this civilization; the device could have been used by the Inca civilization as measuring instrument for scientific purposes such as astronomy, astrology, mathematics, physics, meteorology and many other doctrines. The tool seems to be based on the luminous phenomena and provided the civilization with an excellent scientific device to analyze the light and shadows from the sun, during different seasonal periods of the summer, solstice and equinox.

The device has been designed in a quadrangular form, showing a 40centimeters height prismatic shape. Two of the sides of the gadget would provide measurements to create a calendar based on the apparent solar timeor sundial time, what was absolutely essential for the life of the city to make weather forecast and predictions. The gadget has four vertices which represent the four cardinal pointsNorth, South, East and West, the four cardinal directions. This means that the Incan civilization had been using the Cardinal system and, therefore, the Cartesian coordinate system.

It is not strange to think that this civilization could be so advanced, technologically speaking. The reason is because, literally, the translation of Intiwuatana could be “observatory”. The native language, Quechua, uses the word Inti to name the biggest star that is the Sun; the word Wata means "year". This explains why Intiwuatana was the place chosen to hold the astronomical observatory of the city Machu Picchu. But it also had another purpose with a more religious connotation because of the sacred location of the Intiwuatana. It also was an altar that had been possibly used to hold spiritual ceremonies, human sacrifices, sexual rituals and all kind of ceremonials.

This double meaning, time device and sacred altar, explains the belief in a tightrelationship between the Inca deities and the astronomical phenomena that creates the concept of Astrology. In fact, the Intiwuatana still reveals certain ruins and aligned locations that represent astronomical events and therefore, the idols of the Incancivilization.

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