Cuzco (Cusco), the Empire Inca
Capital, is located at
11,200 ft. above sea level in the Andes Mountains in Southern Peru. According to Inca legend, the city was founded in the 12th
century by the first Inca named Manco Capac, who was said to be
the son of the sun. Archeologists believe the city was
originally settled earlier by the Wari people, perhaps as long
ago as the 8th century.
Cuzco was developed, under the Inca Pachacutec, into a complex
urban centre with distinct religious and administrative
functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for
agricultural, artisan and industrial production. When the
Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they preserved the
basic structure but built Baroque churches and palaces over the
ruins of the Inca city.
The Incas' engineering medium was
stone. They didn't need to use mortar to hold the walls in place.
Instead, they used precise geometry to cut the stones and create