You are here: world-mysteries.com » guest writers » richard nisbet: ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo is rare if not unique in Peru. The gigantic monoliths you see
here are part of what was to be a shrine or temple. At some time unknown, and for reasons unknown, work mysteriously stopped on
this huge project.
Scores of gigantic stones began their journey from the quarry of Kachiqhata (in the upper left corner of the photograph).
They were partially shaped in the quarry then slid down the hill and dragged across the river and over the fields.
Monoliths that didn't make it
There is clear evidence of sudden abandonment all along the way from the quarry to the construction site. Partially cut stones lie in the fields, on the roads and the ramp. Some of these monsters, like the one below with the strange cups cut into it, are as much as 20 feet long.
The local people call these "piedras consadas," weary stones. They were too tired to go any further. Significantly, there seems to be no history, no memory, no legends even of when or why work stopped on this massive project.
The mountainside below the Kachiqhata quarries is strewn with rocks that look like hunks of salmon. Some are large and some are pebbles that are like ball-bearings underfoot.
Often there is no trail. The going is difficult. Higher in the quarries is an anomaly.
We know that the Incas did not have the wheel. It is also pretty clear that the Spanish did no quarrying at Kachiqhata. They didn't need to. They simply tore down existing structures and re-used the stones for their own purpose.
So why is this wheel here, perched so nicely 2,000 feet above the river in the quarries? It is apparently a millwheel, 62" in diameter with a good part of the back side split off. (You can see a hairline crack around the circumference of the remaining piece.) Whoever attempted to make this wheel obviously lacked the skill of those who quarried stones for the temple. An expert quarryman would have seen this fracture coming and found another rock for the job.
Copyright © 2003-2004 by Richard Nisbet
Copyright 2004 by World-Mysteries.com