Only one of Cusco’s mysteries!
About 50 km northwest of Cusco, you find a site of architectural marvel and historical curiosity – Moray. But, what was Moray? These mysterious circles built by pre-Inca cultures, stand as a favorite Cusco destination due to its ancient mystery and other-worldliness.
Despite the visits it gets per year, the purpose of these structures is still limited to theories.
The Mystery behind Moray
We gather evidence from the physical attributes of Moray. With circles & craters being as deep at 30m (100ft) they exhibit surprising, but definitely planned characteristics.
With strategic positioning in regards to both sun and wind, the temperature difference from the top terrace to the bottom field can vary as much as 15*C (59*F).
Why this remarkable variance in temperature? Some say that the Incas used Moray as an experimental agriculture laboratory!
With the investigation showing different terraces containing dirt from other regions, it is possible that the Incas were studying how regional changes would affect the growth of their essential crops.
The Incas were the first to cultivate potatoes (from 8,000 B.C.). Corn was also essential to the Inca Empire, coming in thousands of varieties. Some contained over-sized kernels, some grew especially sturdy, and some were even completely purple!
The Largest Empire in the Historical New World
At the height of their reign in 1527, the Inca Empire spanned from southern Colombia to central Chile, an area of over 2,000,000 km-squared. This area included environments ranging from jungles, deserts, coasts to mountains. The capital of their world was here, in Cusco.
The greatest remnants of the Incas lie here in Cusco: including the mysterious circles of Moray, Sacsayhuaman, and, of course, Machu Picchu. We delight in rediscovering these ancient wonders and hope that researchers continue teaching us more about them in the future.