The Stones of Power: Royal Constructions and the Long-Distance Movement of Building Stones in the Inca Empire

The Stones of Power: Royal Constructions and the Long-Distance Movement of Building Stones in the Inca Empire

Finely made cut stone architecture was a hallmark of the Inca Empire, being used to construct the most important buildings in Cusco, Machu Picchu, and other locations. This lecture will focus on the most valued type of stone used by the Incas, the andesite of the Rumiqolqa quarry outside of Cusco.

Drawing from archaeological and historical data, we see that stone from that quarry was not just considered to be a suitable building material but was considered sacred in itself and it served as a visible, potent symbol of the Inca Empire. Rumiqolqa stone was used for the palaces and temples of Cusco, and we have found that it was also used in some in royal estates in the sacred Urubamba Valley. Moreover, the Incas moved hundreds of these stones more than a thousand miles through the Andes for a building project in southern Ecuador, further highlighting the importance of the sacred quarry of Rumiqolqa and its connection to Inca imperial power.

Advance Tickets only: £10.00 members / £12.00 non-members / £8.00 students & over 65

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