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Machu Picchu Intihuatana
The Intihuatana, which in Quechua means "place where the sun is
tied", is one of the major mysteries of the Inca culture due to, is not known
the exact purpose of this stone. Is located in one of the terraces of the temple
of the three windows in the sanctuary of Machu Picchu and is a monolith carved
and polished in several planes, with a prism-shaped and its four vertices
indicate the four cardinal points.
according to previous studies, Is said that it was an observatory of the solar
year, that could establish the solstices and equinoxes as well as a central and
indispensable part of a complex system of astronomical measurements that served
at the Incas to determine the beginning and the end of the agricultural year,
fulfilling a function of both social and religious.
Certainly this enigmatic monolith attracts the admiration of thousands of
visitors who travel to see the magnificent sanctuary of Machu Picchu. They pose
their hands or lie down on this irregular sculpture, feeling a strange energy,
an inexplicable force that emerges from each of its four edges.
Origin of the Name
For archaeologists who studied the ruins since 1877, the term was used to denote
Intihuatana carved stones in general. However, this is not for the Quechua
tradition, as the name that the Spanish chroniclers collected for this type of
work was the term "saywa" or "sukhanka".
Then other studies, when it was discovered its role in the astrological
conception of the Incas, it was understood that by illuminating the sun in the
center of the sculpture is cast a shadow, which was accurate astrological
instruments like the time with respect to the sun's position in the space.
For what was useful?
The most important celebrations of the Inca Empire were determined according to
the measurement of the shadows of Intihuatana, accurately marking the winter
solstice, which gave the start to the celebrations of IntiRaymi, the Sun
Festival: the religious and social Inca ceremony.
In this event, various rituals were performed to ask the sun not to abandon them
during the agricultural period, to ensure the support of its people. Therefore,
they should tie it to Intihuatana symbolically. To achieve this, the high priest
officiating a public ritual offering to the Sun and with his hands fixed his
shadow on the stone.