... Narrative by Luis Octavio Ruzo, Ph D ...
Portal 1 of this website presents the story of the discovery of Marcahuasi
as well as the geological characteristics of the plateau. It also provides
information on the village of San Pedro de Casta and how it and Marcahuasi
can be accessed.
The great majority of the public does not doubt that Marcahuasi is the result of human work, but until today no one has presented evidence to support this belief. It is true that the monuments found there are impressive and quite numerous in a relatively small area (~4 square km), facts which may support such a hypothesis. The study of Marcahuasi is made difficult by the lack of information sources common to archaeological work: there are no burials or trash dumps contemporary with the monuments. Also, there are no organic remains which could be assayed by carbon 14 analysis to determine dates. There are only rocks and lichens.
Throughout the past seventy years Marcahuasi has probably been visited by hundreds of thousands. Only in 2015 the community of San Pedro de Casta estimates that the site received fifteen thousand visitors. Thus, it is surprising that in no case has a serious study been conducted of the relationships between the structures on the plateau, aside from Daniel Ruzo’s attempts in the 1950s. Not having access to GPS technology, Ruzo utilized traditional land surveying equipment to fix the lines between monuments. He was not able to reach any conclusions, mainly because of the physical difficulties involved and the fact that he focused on the major monuments and did not notice the markers, discussed below.
If it is the case that there exist geometrical relationships between certain structures, this fact would support the hypothesis that there has been human intervention in Marcahuasi. Considering that there may be such relationships we organized two expeditions to the plateau in July, 2014 and June, 2016. These were sponsored by ECYART (Association for the Study of Traditional Arts and Sciences), based in Lima, Peru. These efforts yielded useful information geo-referencing monuments and markers, determining lines of sight (orientation) (Table 1 – 2014 Expedition in PDF Format; Table 2 - 2016 Expedition in PDF Format), and confirming the geological data available on the composition of the plateau (Portal 1).
At Marcahuasi we can distinguish a minimum of four types of stone structures, aside from the Inca-period barracks and funerary chullpas. We have geo-referenced many of these, particularly in the north side. Table 1 provides their geographical coordinates, lines of sight and other data. Note that the names used here are those used by the discoverer of Marcahuasi or those used by the villagers in San Pedro:
These are the most easily recognized and in fact are what attracts visitors to the plateau. They are scattered throughout , but the majority are located on the northwest side. Examples of the monuments are the Peca Gasha (Monument to Humanity, Figures 1 and 2), the helmet (Figure 3), the knight (or alchemist, Figure 4), the philosopher (or Easter Island head, Figure 5), the llama (Figure 6) and many others (see Monuments here).
These are geometrical figures or other features carved on stone, they do not necessarily depict personages. The Infiernillo (Figure 7), the Mayoralas (Figure 8), the walls of the amphitheater (Figure 9), the lined stone (Figure 10) and the chessboard (Figure 11) are examples of such reliefs. (Engravings)
These are stones of varying size which rest upon or to the side of each other, such as the Indian’s head cover (chullo, Figure 12), the man next to the hill of sights (cerro de las miradas) (Figures 13 and 14), the shoe (Figure 15) and the dolmen in the amphitheater (Figures 16 and 17). (Dolmens)
These single stones are very difficult to describe. Generally polymorphic, not taller than two meters, located near monuments and set over flat stone surfaces. They differ more than resemble each other, so it may appear somewhat arbitrary to class them as a type of structure, except that once geo-referenced as discussed below, they fall into certain patterns. Figures 18-24 depict markers M-1 to M-6 and M-10. (Markers) (Table 1 – 2014 Expedition in PDF Format; Table 2 - 2016 Expedition in PDF Format)
We will focus on the north side of the plateau, the area we have studied in greater detail and in which most of the monuments, carvings, dolmens and markers are found. Near the "Peca Gasha" (Figures 1 y 2) are located the altar (north side, Figure 25), "the African lion" (Figure 26) "scar face" (Figure 27), as well as a minimum of seven markers (M-1 al M-6 y M-10)
A quick examination of the lines of sight (LOS) reveals that more than a third of structures that can be assigned LOS (Table 1 – 2014 Expedition in PDF Format; Table 2 - 2016 Expedition in PDF Format) exhibit angles that are multiples of 90 degrees! This is unlikely to be a coincidence. In the case of (Infiernillo) it is perfectly oriented at 0 degrees south and 360 degrees north. The circle of 360 degrees which we have used for centuries may have also been used on the plateau.
Reviewing the data from the 2014 expedition (Table 1) and using GoogleEarth, we find that markers M-3, M-4 y M-5 are laid out on a straight line (Figure 28). The same can be said for the altar, the half-rock, M-3, M-2, scarface and the Turbant (M-6)
These are not all – as shown in Figure 28. We can see other lines formed by the lion, M-4 and M-2; M-5, M-1 and the turban (M-6), as well as altar, M-4 and M-1. Thus there are several alignments involving three to six points. Many of these lines intersect at M-4 (Figure 28).
In an attempt to understand the possible significance of such a geometric arrangement, the theory proposed by R Bauval (see bibliography) comes to mind. Bauval proposes that the three main pyramids at Giza represent the stars in Orion’s belt, the constellation of the hunter.
Ancient cultures were very attentive to happenings in the heavens, in part to maintain a viable calendar, but also in order to predict a catastrophe. Perhaps the latter reason was the more important one as described by W Sullivan (bibliography).
Could it be the case that at Marcahuasi an ancient people was able to translate what they saw in the sky into a pattern on the ground? After several attempts to relate the lines formed by the various monuments and markers to known constellations of the southern hemisphere, we found that there appeared to be an almost exact correlation with one of the most well known group of stars, the Pleiades. These play a very prominent role in the mythologies of cultures as different as the Zuni of New Mexico and the Greek (see bibliography).
The stars we cite below are identified by their Greek names and their magnitude (the lower number represents greater brilliance). With the data from the 2014 expedition (Table 1) we were able to assign four of the brightest stars:
Marker M-4 = Alcyone (2.9)
Marker M-1 (very near Peca Gasha) = Atlas (3.6)
Altar (north) = Electra (3.7)
African Lion = Merope (4.2)
Figures 29 and 30 represent the points cited superimposed on two images of the Pleiades seen from north and south. Since five of the Pleiades are easily visible without magnification we were missing Maya (magnitude 3.9). Teygeta, another member of the cluster is rarely visible without a telescope and Asterope and Coeleno not at all. According to the position of Maya in the constellation it should be found to the southwest on a line with Alcyone (M-4), M-3 and M-5, an area that was not geo-referenced during the 2014 expedition.
In 2016 we obtained the data necessary to locate and identify Maya with marker M-10 (Figure 31, Table 1 – 2014 Expedition in PDF Format; Table 2 - 2016 Expedition in PDF Format)
Taking into account the variety of structures found on the plateau, the relationships between the markers and the representation of an important constellation, as well as the lines of sight reflecting the exact division of the 360 degree circle, .
Peca Gasha (translated as the head at the alley) is an imposing rock which in fact is first seen upon ascending by the short route at the end of a narrowing canyon (the “alley”). Daniel Ruzo identified at least fourteen different heads and faces on the Peca Gasha. On this photograph, taken in July 1986, three of these personages can be easily seen. The most important looks south (to the right) with a line of sight of 180 degrees (Table 1).
The eye is formed by the light and shadow on the stone near mid-day. Two personages look north, the larger with a prominent curved nose with a crevasse which forms its eye. This nose constitutes the minor character (standing). The line of sight of the Peca Gasha is 180 degrees south (Table 1). --> See now!
Here at least three distinct heads can be seen, as well as a face carved on the cheek of the largest head. The shadow of the rock casts the image of a bird with its wings spread out. The photograph was taken in late December 1978. There are significant variations on the figures that can be seen depending on the time of day and the season. --> See now!
The outline of the helmet is evident in this photograph. The line of sight is 90 degrees south (Table 1), one quarter of the circle. The helmet is located near the most important crevasse of the plateau, named “the amphitheater”. The figure of the helmet is not dependent on light and shadow or the season of the year. --> See now!
This face has a line of sight of 315 degrees north (7/8 of the circle). It is defined mainly by the nose, the eyes are rarely seen, but the chin, ear and head cover are evident in all seasons. Many photographs of the knight at different seasons show essentially the same figure. --> See now!
This head with a sharp nose and a cap is located at the edge of the cliff on the west side. It has also been called the Easter Island head, which it resembles. The photograph was taken in late December 2001, before noon. The line of sight is 360 degrees to the north (Table 1). --> See now!
This structure is part of a complex group. Its line of sight is 270 degrees to the west (Table 1). It is near the Peca Gasha and close to the marker M-5. --> See now!
This is a stone ditch, nearly 40 feet long and 4 feet wide. It is estimated to be more than 30 feet deep. Its line of sight points 360 degrees south (zero degrees north) (Table 1). Traditions in the village attribute magical properties to this feature, particularly regarding the people who descend into it and return to the surface changed. --> See now!
This group of sculptures is supposed to represent young women dancing during one of the festivities celebrate by the village. The first photo was taken by Daniel Ruzo with a green filter in the 1950s. The second shows a stone that resembles an owl in front of the Mayoralas which appears to have been sculpted and may represent a marker. Geo-references are given in Table 1. --> See now!
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There are many examples of such “lining” on stones at Marchahuasi. We do not have any explanation for such a design. --> See now!
(photograph by Daniel Ruzo) This design is located on the neck (below the chin) of the Peca Gasha. It is made up of sixteen squares in a 4 x 4 pattern. The checkerboard may represent two dimensional space. It appears to have been made by drilling the stone to obtain holes whose angle determines the shadows that make up the figure. Viewing the checkerboard is highly dependent on the time of the day, morning being best in the dry months of winter. Although eroded by the elements the design has survived. Nothing similar has been found elsewhere on the plateau. --> See now!
(see the dolmen that constitutes the indian’s hat or chullo) --> See now!
(con detalle del dolmen que constituye el chullo) --> See now!
This enormous rock (which actually resembles a ship) located in the south zone of the plateau, near the Fortress and the Cachu Cachu lagoon (Table 1) gets its name from the fact that three lines of sight appear to converge on it: that of the man in Figures 13a and 13b, from a woman on the opposite side (Figure 13c) – the rock with the man and woman barely visible from the front (the “keel”) are shown in Figure 13d – and the head of a dog on the left is given in Figure 13e. The photos were taken in August 2003. --> See now!
To the left we can see the man in Figures 13a and 13b. --> See now!
This structure is next to the Philosopher (Table 1) at the edge of the precipice on the west side of the plateau. It has the appearance of a show cemented to its base. Its line of sight is 360 degrees to the north, based on the direction pointed by the shoe’s tip. Photo of July 1986. --> See now!
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Figure 17a shows the “seat of two cones” and in the distance, on the left, the helmet from the zone called Santa Maria. Figure 17b shows the Helmet, the head is not visible, but an eye can be detected as a slanted cut on the rock facing southeast with a line of sight of 315 degrees or 7/8 of the circle (Table 1). The photos were taken in July 2014. --> See now!
This marker appears as a head looking toward nearby Peca Gasha (Table 1). Note that it is covered in reddish lichen, as are several other markers, and that it rests on a smooth stone floor. M-1 corresponds to the star Atlas in the Pleiades (Figures 29-31. Photo taken in June 2014. --> See now!
M-2 is a polymorphic rock which rests on a stone surface very near scar face (Table 1). Photos are from July 2014 and June 2016. --> See now!
If M-3 is viewed as a head with the eyes in the darkened section it would have a line of sight of 90 degrees east. It also rests on a smooth stone floor. Photo in July 2014. --> See now!
M-4 (Table 1) appears to be composed of several heads that are heavily eroded. The stones resting on top have been placed there in the past twenty years. Again, below it we see a stone floor. M-4 corresponds to the star Alcyone, several lines converge on this structure (Figures 29-31). --> See now!
This stone has a seat carved out of it with a line of sight of 45 degrees northeast (Figure 22b, Table 1). A face appears to have been carved on the opposite side (Figure 22c). --> See now!
This structure involves two stones. One is larger and rounded resembling a turban, the other is a fairly small head. Its line of sight is to the southeast (225 degrees, 5/8 of the circle, Table 1). --> See now!
Photographs of M-10 from several directions. The position of M-10 corresponds to that of the star Maya in the Pleiades (Table 1, Figures 29-31). Photographed in July 2016. --> See now!
This is a polished flat stone on whose sides are found what may be personages or sculptures made on the same rock (Table 1 and Figures 28-31). The position of the altar corresponds to the star Electra. --> See now!
This lion (Table 1) on the north side of the plateau is designated as “African” to distinguish it from another lion found in the zone of Santa Maria. The structure corresponds to the Pleiade Merope (Figures 29-31) --> See now!
This structure resembles a head with deep cuts on the cheeks. It stands just behind M-2 (Table 1). --> See now!
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Wikipedia – Theory of the relationship between the Giza pyramids and Orion The Orion correlation theory was first put forward by Robert Bauval in 1983. One night, while working in Saudi Arabia, he took his family and a friend's family up into the sand dunes of the Arabian desert for a camping expedition. His friend pointed out Orion, and mentioned that Mintaka, the dimmest and most westerly of the stars making up Orion's belt, was offset slightly from the others. Bauval then made a connection between the layout of the three main stars in Orion's belt and the layout of the three main pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. He published this idea in 1989 in the journal Discussions in Egyptology, volume 13. The idea has been further expounded by Bauval in collaboration with Adrian Gilbert (The Orion Mystery, 1994) and Graham Hancock (Keeper of Genesis, 1996), as well as in their separate publications. The basis of this theory concerns the proposition that the relative positions of three main Ancient Egyptian pyramids on the Giza plateau are (by design) correlated with the relative positions of the three stars in the constellation of Orion which make up Orion's Belt— as these stars appeared in 10,000 BC. Their initial claims regarding the alignment of the Giza pyramids with Orion ("…the three pyramids were a terrestrial map of the three stars of Orion's belt"—Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods, 1995, p. 375) are later joined with speculation about the age of the Great Sphinx (Hancock and Bauval, Keeper of Genesis, published 1996, and in 1997 in the U.S. as The Message of the Sphinx). According to these works, the Great Sphinx was constructed c. 10,500 BC (Upper Paleolithic), and its lion-shape is maintained to be a definitive reference to the constellation of Leo. Furthermore, the orientation and dispositions of the Sphinx, the Giza pyramids and the Nile River relative to one another on the ground is put forward as an accurate reflection or "map" of the constellations of Leo, Orion (specifically, Orion's Belt) and the Milky Way respectively. As Hancock puts it in 1998's The Mars Mystery (co-authored with Bauval): ...we have demonstrated with a substantial body of evidence that the pattern of stars that is "frozen" on the ground at Giza in the form of the three pyramids and the Sphinx represents the disposition of the constellations of Orion and Leo as they looked at the moment of sunrise on the spring equinox during the astronomical "Age of Leo" (i.e., the epoch in which the Sun was "housed" by Leo on the spring equinox.) Like all precessional ages this was a 2,160-year period. It is generally calculated to have fallen between the Gregorian calendar dates of 10,970 and 8810 BC. (op. cit., p.189) The allusions to dates circa 12,500 years ago are significant to Hancock since this is the era he seeks to assign to the advanced progenitor civilization, now vanished, but which he contends through most of his works had existed and whose advanced technology influenced and shaped the development of the world's known civilizations of antiquity. Egyptology and archaeological science maintain that available evidence indicates that the Giza pyramids were constructed during the Fourth dynasty period (3rd millennium BC), while the exact date of the Great Sphinx is still unclear. Hancock does not dispute the dating evidence for the currently existing pyramids, but instead argues that they may have been an architectural evolution of sites whose origin and cultural significance dated back some eight thousand years before the current monuments were built —since the Orion correlation theory claims they are oriented that way—which, it is implied, provides further evidence for the influence of astronomical, mathematical, and historical knowledge that might not have been passed down to the pyramids’ builders.
Wikipedia – The Pleiades Pleiades as calendar, in history and in modern science. Historically, the Pleiades have served as a calendar for many civilizations. The Greek name “Pleiades” probably means “to sail.” In the ancient Mediterranean world, the day that the Pleaides cluster first appeared in the morning sky before sunrise announced the opening of the navigation season. The modern-day festival of Halloween originates from an old Druid rite that coincided with the midnight culmination of the Pleiades cluster. It was believed that the veil dividing the living from the dead is at its thinnest when the Pleaides culminates – reaches its highest point in the sky – at midnight. On a lighter note, the Zuni of New Mexico call the Pleiades the “Seed Stars,” because this cluster’s disappearance in the evening sky every spring signals the seed-planting season. In both myth and science, the Pleiades are considered to be sibling stars. Modern astronomers say the Pleiades stars were born from the same cloud of gas and dust some 100 million years ago. This gravitationally bound cluster of several hundred stars looms some 430 light-years distant, and these sibling stars drift through space together at about 25 miles per second. Many of these Pleiades stars shine hundreds of times more brightly than our sun. Sullivan, William. The Secret of the Incas: Myth, Astronomy and the War Against Time (Crown Publishers), 1996
The most experienced and knowledgeable team of Marcahuasi.