The Incas were most famous for their masonry. Masonry were blocks of stone that were cut, ground, and polished until the surface was smooth and shaped to perfection. The Incas developed two types of masonry: coursed and polygonal. In coursed masonry, all stones were rectangular, placed in even horizontal rows, and tightly joined with sunken joints.
Inca Architecture Machu Picchu
The Incas also built fortresses and walls. One such fortress is Saqsaywaman. It was built to protect the capital city of Cuzco, and was also used for religious and royal purposes. Part of this fortress was a wall that stretched more than 1500 feet. Another fortress and the most well known Inca city is Machu Picchu.
Buildings were constructed to last, and to survive natural disasters like earthquakes. Doorways and window niches sloped inwards slightly at the top. Roofs were also slanted. Incan buildings are amazing structures.
The Incas did not use tiles or shingles to cover their roofs, but had to depend on thatch made of grass or bushes. The thatch was tied to the purlins and was kept from blowing away by being tied to the ends of the projecting roof pegs while the purlins themselves were fastened to the gables by being tied to the eye-bonders.
Inca Temple of The Sun
The Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu also known as the Torreon may have served as a primitive solar observatory. It was dedicated to their . Enclosed by a semicircular wall, the only one in , the room contains a stone altar and windows strategically placed to observe astronomical events.
Inca architectural work
An architectural work at Macchu Picchu was made with granite, worked by stone and sand into irregular shapes that fit together like a gigantic puzzle. Some stones have as many as thirty facets worked into the surface, and as a result, the faces of the stone fit together so tightly that a needle won't fit between them.
The material used for Inca Architecture ranged from limestone to granite. These stones were sometimes quite large and could weigh several tons. Some of these stones had to be moved over 20 miles before they reached the construction site.
What did the Incas Build
Inca architects would choose which type of rock to use according to the function the building would fulfil: for administrative buildings and noble houses, medium rocks, and for fortresses and religious sites, enormous ones. In both cases the rocks were carved completely and not only on their outer edge, to ensure that the joints were perfect, and that not even a pin could go through them.
Qollqas were small square buildings that were built, about two or three yards apart, in a row, and were very important to the Incas. They were usually built outside populated areas in high locations to prevent the stored goods from becoming damp.
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