The Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu explained

The Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu explained

The Intihuatana stone, also known as the “Hitching Post of the Sun,” is a unique and iconic feature of the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. Located in the Temple of the Sun, this stone is believed to have been used by the Incas for astronomical observations, and to mark the winter and summer solstices.

What is the Intihuatana?

The Intihuatana stone is a large, rectangular block of stone with a flat top and carved with intricate designs. It stands about 4 feet (1.2 meters)  tall and is made of granite. Granite is a type of rock known for its durability and resistance to weathering. The stone is located on a high point within the city. This position allows the Intihuatana to catch the sun’s rays at different times of the day and throughout the year.

The name “Intihuatana” comes from the Quechua language, which was spoken by the Incas. It translates to “hitching post of the sun”. It is thought that the stone was used to “tie down” the sun in order to keep it from moving too far away from the earth. This belief was based on the Inca’s understanding of astronomy. They believed that the sun moved across the sky in a predictable pattern. Therefore, it could be measured and tracked using the Intihuatana stone.

The Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu explained

In addition to its astronomical significance, the Intihuatana stone is also thought to have had spiritual and cultural significance for the Incas. Historians believe that the Intihuatana was a place of worship. The stone’s location within the Temple of the Sun suggests that it may have been a central part of Inca religious practices.

Despite its importance to the Incas, the Intihuatana stone remains a mystery to many. Archaeologists still don’t understand the exact purpose and meaning of the stone. There is still much that scientists and historians do not know about it. However, its enduring presence in the ancient city of Machu Picchu serves as a reminder of the rich history and culture of the Inca people.

Where is it located?

The Intihuatana is located at the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was built around 1450 and abandoned a century later during the Spanish Conquest. The ruins are now a World Heritage Site and one of the most visited tourist destinations in South America.

The Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu explained

Machu Picchu consists of several terraces connected by stone stairways and walls made from intricately cut stones without mortar. This technique is evidence of the sophisticated Inca engineering skills. On each terrace are small buildings or temples. Some of these structures could be royal palaces where rulers lived and were buried in tombs under the floors. Other structures include agricultural terraces used for farming, and irrigation systems which provided water to surrounding areas. Also, there are ceremonial sites such as plazas.

Additionally, Machu Picchu served as a center for the Inca religion, with temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses. Even today, Machu Picchu continues to be an important pilgrimage destination for many people from around the world who seek spiritual enlightenment or simply wish to experience its awe-inspiring beauty.

The beauty of Machu Picchu continues to fascinate visitors today, who come from all corners of the world just to see this incredible site firsthand!

The Intihuatana stone in Machu Picchu explained

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