Inca architecture and construction at Ollantaytambo
It is a modern-day mystery how the Inca, who did not have iron tools or knowledge of the wheel, mined and transported stones and dressed and fitted them in remarkable structures. Jean-Pierre Protzen has spent much of the past decade investigating the quarrying and stonecutting techniques of the Inca, and problems of Inca construction practices. His work is based principally on observation, careful measurements of structures, and experiments using stones and tools the Inca stonemasons would have used. Ollantaytambo, probably the best-preserved Inca town, offers an ideal laboratory with its well-thought-out site plans, its intimate integration of the built form with the natural environment, the unity of its architecture, and the sheer perfection of its cut-stone masonry. Offering the only extensive analysis of Inca construction practices, Protzen describes and interprets the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo, discovers temporal and functional links among its components, uncovers the planning and design criteria that governed its layout and architecture, and compiles all that has been written about the site.
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The Site and Its Architecture
The Archaeological Complex of Ollantaytambo
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adobe andesite Araqhama ayllu back wall bedrock building blocks built Callejon carved centimeters Cerro Pinkuylluna channel Choqana chullpa Cobo lib construction corner courtyard Cuzco doorways double-frame double-jamb east edge f1tted face fieldstones Fortress fountains gable walls Gasparini and Margolies gate Gibaja hammerstones Huanuco Viejo ichu Inca architecture Inca buildings Inca Empire Inca road Inca stonemasons Inkaraqay jambs kancha kiloponds layout lintels Llanos loose block Machu Picchu Manqo Inka masonry meters mortar mortared masonry niches Ollan Ollantaytambo outwash fan Pachakuti Pachar Pisaq plaster plaza polished Q'ellu Raqay quarries quarrymen ramp remains retaining wall rock roof rose rhyolite Rowe second floor Second Walls side Six Monoliths slope southern quarry Square of Manyaraki Squier stones storehouses structure Sun Temple tapia taytambo technique Temple Hill Temple Sector terrace wall tion town transverse streets Unfinished Urubamba River Urubamba valley Wayna wedge wedge-stone western quarry