Intihuatana

Machu Picchu, Intihuatana

The Intihuatana is a mass of granite carved in prism shape and its four vertices aiming at the cardinal points. The obelisk is on a total area of 8 metres and 60 centimetres located in a small platform next to the Three Windows Temple, an Inca observatory in the Citadel of Machu Picchu.

Its origin and purpose is still covered with the mysterious veil of history, though some scientists state it was a worship sanctuary where "the sun was tied" as it won't never stop shinning. If so, life will be extinguished and the end of their children will come.

During the Equinoxes and Solstices the edges of this carving align with geographic features in the distance. This may have been used to help the Incas determine agricultural planting times. At midday on March 21st and September 21st, the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow at all. At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his might upon the pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock.

This rock is carved out of the granite bedrock at one of the high points in Machu Picchu. All the rock that did not contain "holy aspect" was removed, and this is what was left. In addition to having a great connection to the earth, the Incas were also astronomers.

 

 

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