ML 148401


Environmental Recording 2:06 - 22:36 Play 2:06 - More
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Market ambi  








Environmental Recording 22:40 - 29:29 Play 22:40 - More
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Street ambi  








Interview 30:41 - 52:12 Play 30:41 - More
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Chip Stanish  







Incan masonry; Incan history  

Interview 59:09 - 1:15:57 Play 59:09 - More
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Chip Stanish  







Pikillacta; Wari culture  

Environmental Recording 1:19:13 - 1:20:44 Play 1:19:13 - More
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Leaves rustling in the wind  








Interview 1:21:36 - 1:24:20 Play 1:21:36 - More
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Chip Stanish  







Pre-colonial sites of Cusco Region  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
10 Nov 2001

  • Peru
    Cuzco [Cusco]
  • Cusco; San Pedro Market
  • -13.52111   -71.9825
    Recording TimeCode
  • 2:06 - 29:29
  • Peru
    Cuzco [Cusco]
  • Cusco; Santo Domingo Convent; Coricancha Temple
  • -13.52013   -71.97573
    Recording TimeCode
  • 30:41 - 52:12
  • Peru
    Cuzco [Cusco]
  • Pikillacta
  • -13.61667   -71.71472
    Recording TimeCode
  • 59:09 - 1:24:20
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Neumann RSM 190 through Sonosax SX-M2 preamp into Sony TCDD8

Show: Peru
Log of DAT #: 2
Engineer: Leo del Aguila
Date: November 10, 2001

ng = not good
ok = okay
g = good
vg = very good

Cusco, 11,000ft above sea level. 6:30am
Neumann RSM 190I microphone system. Stereo. M and S. Pattern box: straight MS. M to the left of a sonosax SXM2 pre-amp. The S is feeding the right channel of the pre-amp. The pre-amp line output is feeding the line input of a D8. Recording at standard speed, 48K.

Mercado San Pedro

2:07 Alex.
This is the Mercado San Pedro in Cusco, on Saturday morning. And this is where people come to go shopping and this is a shopping day. So we¿re going to just wander off through there and see what¿s there.

Music in the background, cars, people talking

2:30: car alarm (not very Cusco-esque), but then kid calling out.
Horns honking.

3:13-3:30 good sounds of vender calling out prices.

3:30-5:45 Market women¿s voices. Kid trying to convince his mom to buy something. Song with a distinct woman¿s voice playing in the background (sounds similar to music from India).

4:07, 5:20 coins clinking.

5:45-6:38 Alex buys something for 2.50 soles. Woman vendor tells him to watch out for pickpockets.

6:30- Market. Man singing now. Music starts and stops.

7:22 AC
Where here in the market. The music that you¿re hearing is Quechua, which is the native language of this area, a Quechua song. And here on the floor of the market there are big paving stones on the floor and stalls all around. There¿s a butcher over there; they¿re selling clothes up the way, and right here in this area there¿s just all kinds of produce. This corn that grows locally here, with very very large kernels. And then right on the floor in front of us, piles of potatoes, different kinds of potatoes. Some of them are very small and others look like potatoes I¿m more used to seeing in our markets.

8:20-10:30 Market ambi. Nothing distinct.

9:15 dishes being clinked.
9:30-9:39 kid yelling ¿Mamá, Mamá!¿

10:29-10:39 strange birdlike calls.

10:40-11:45 sawing noises.

10:41 ¿Mister, de que pais?¿ Leo: ¿USA, estados unidos.¿

11:50-12:02 someone pounding metal on metal.

12:28 AC ¿Qué carne?¿
CS: ¿Qué tipo de carne es?¿
Vendor: ¿oh, es carne de res.¿
CS: ¿it¿s ah, beef.¿
AC: ¿it¿s ah beef, and what kind of beef is it?¿
CS: ¿qué tipo de carne de res?¿
Vendor: ¿es la pies beef.¿
CS: ¿la pierna, the leg.¿
AC: ¿the leg.¿
CS: ¿quánto es un kilo?¿
Vendor: ¿un kilo, seis soles, six.¿
CS: ¿seis soles un kilo. Okay, gracias.¿

13:00-20:08 general market ambi with background music. Some kids voices, some women¿s voices.

20:09 Leo talks about how well the people eat. Chicken, produce, everything fresh.
21:40 Leo and Chip talk again about food.


22:40 Leo goes outside market to record traffic and general street sounds.

22:54-29:28 street ambi. People walking, car alarm going off in the beginning. Lots of horns honking. Background music. Man¿s voice on and off on intercom.

23:18 cart rumbling by

23:27 voices passing

23:30 truck goes by.

23:48-24:00 motorcycle or truck rumbles by, followed by clear music.

24:50-25:00 Leo tells some kids he¿s taping the sounds of the street.

29:29: tape stopdown
29:31: resume taping.

30:41 CS
Okay, this was the original Inca temple, and this is the Coricancha. As we said, cori means gold, cancha means enclosure. It¿s a Quechua word for ¿enclosure of gold.¿ The outside was covered in sheet gold. And you can see from all the hillsides, this was also the naval of the universe, the belly button of the world, the idea that an empire was actually a human body and it had four parts. We¿re going to go to the Coyasuyu, which is Puno, the land of the Coyas, the part of the Coyas, which is suyo, means quarter. And then the whole empire was called Tiwantinsuyu, which means land of the four quarters. So you had Chichasuyu, Cuntasuyu, and Andesuyu, and then Coyasuyu, we¿re now right in the middle of it, ah, and then we¿ll be going south. You can see this is classic Inca stonework. It¿s quarried and it¿s pecked with quartz and other large rocks and it¿s ground down and beveled on the edges with quartz chisels to make it absolutely precise.

31:45 AC
What kind of rock is that?

31:47 CS
It¿s probably basalt; I need to take a look closer. Yeah, these are andesites or basalts, andesites or basalts.

32:00 AC
And this rock here, I mean this block of stone that we¿re looking at, I mean this must weigh a couple of hundred pounds at least.

32:09 CS
Yeah, easy. It was done with ramps. So we actually have found buildings in Oyantitambo for instance where it was in construction, it was in construction when the ahh¿

So in other words, if you look at the site of Oyantitambo that was still being built when the Spaniards arrived, we find big urban ramps that go up let¿s say to here¿

32:39 AC
About 4 or 5 feet off the ground.

32:40 CS
Then they¿d roll the block up, they¿d place it on, do the row, then they¿d do another ramp, make it longer. That¿s how they would get them up there. We¿ll actually see in Puno at a site, Siyustani, which is a big cemetery site, ah the same technique, where one ramp was still in place, and you¿ll see that.

32:01 AC
What strikes me about this, this is very finely cut stone--(CS: yes it is)¿I mean it appears that way to me. I mean it¿s expertly shaped, all the lines are very even and exact, and the edge of each of these stones is beveled, they¿re cut back away, so it¿s a very handsome stonework.

33:18 CS
Beautifully done. And you actually had master stonemasons in the Inca empire. The way it would work is you would have the ah, the people who would do labor, a corvay(?) labor, they¿d come in to do their tax, they would be the basically the grunt workers. They would go get the big rock and they¿d chisel it out and bring the big block. The master stonemason would come down and say ¿yeah I need it something about this big¿ and then you would have the apprentice stonemasons carve it down to about that shape but leaving enough for the master craftsman to work. Then it would be transported from the quarry in that form up for the master craftsman who would then take it and use the finer tools and get it right down. We also think it¿s possible, not entirely sure, it¿s possible that when you had like one block like this and one block like this they would put grit and sand and water in the bottom like sandpaper and then they would push back and forth and keep grinding it down until it made a really nice tight fit. Then you would bevel it to give the appearance of it being absolutely tight. But when we see some rocks later on, stones that are actually fallen over, you¿ll see in fact that it¿s not perfectly shaped on all the sides, it¿s dressed only in the part to be seen. But phenomenal, phenomenal stonework here, there¿s no question.

But what are they using to cut this stone?

34:35 CS
They are taking, they are taking either harder rock, like either feldspars or granites or something like that, and then they¿re just pounding them. And you can see, see every little nick here, every little nick¿

34:45 AC
They¿re little tiny, tiny dots and indentations and almost like pin-pricks all over this thing.

34:54 CS
Yeah, exactly. And each pinprick is like a big rock that smashes down and they use the weight as it pops back up, keep smashing bam, bam, bam and you keep knocking out little tiny pieces and when you get this smooth surface in the center you take a chisel, literally a quartz chisel, which is harder than this, and you just chisel it down. And you can see the chisel marks right here, these are little striations that go right in and you can, as opposed to the pecking round ones you have these little striations that just fit right in.

35:23 AC
Right at the edge, right at all the edges.

35:25 CS
Mmm hmm. And you can actually you can see here where the face of the rock was, this is the original surface of the rock before it was ground down into underneath and they had got it just right. They had basically got this flat surface and they pecked around it but still leaving this brown part here that was from the original patinated surface of the rock. And this was probably covered anyway, a lot of this was covered at times with cloth and gold.

35:57 AC
Now, I¿m just going to turn around and look down here. How big a structure was this?

36:03 CS
This would have probably gone, this is probably the original height what we see right here.

36:08 AC
¿Bout 8 feet I¿d say.

36:10 CS
Yeah, ah but on the other side as we can see, on the other side where it¿s rounded it goes all the way down the terrace so that¿s substantially larger maybe, (AC: 20 feet) 20 feet yeah, exactly. Ah, and you can see the niches, the very famous Inca niches, the trapezoidal shape. And people say ¿why did they build niches?¿ Because they liked niches. The same reason the Greek built columns¿they¿re an architectural feature that they liked. They had sometimes we think they may have had mummies in there, they may have had offerings to various kinds of deities, thunder and so forth

36:39 AC
In this little room in here with this trapezoidal doorway.

36:42 CS
Yeah. And in fact, as we walk through here¿and you stand on this rock and you look through the niche, you can see that all (AC: wow!) the windows just line right up, perfectly, isn¿t that nice?

That¿s amazing. I¿m just standing on this little rock that¿s maybe 15 inches square, it¿s a perfect cube and you stand on this and you look through this wall into the next chamber and the next and the next and all these little trapezoidal windows line up perfectly. That¿s really an engineering feet.

37:22 CS
Remember, these are people who could build a canal 50km long within a few minutes of precision. I mean they¿re phenomenal, phenomenal surveyors. And we know they had certain kinds of tools to survey with. You know what they did? They took a bowl, had a line around it, a perfectly straight line around the bowl. They had two holes on opposite ends of the bowl. They¿d string a rope through it, make it real taught. Then they¿d fill it with water. And when the water lined up perfectly to the incision inside the bowl you had a perfectly straight transit shot. And they could do that. We found one on the Peruvian coast that actually mimicked that.

38:17 AC
So what is the name of this temple?

38:19 CS
This is the Coricancha. The enclosure of gold.

38:22 AC
This is the Coricancha, the Enclosure of Gold, in Cusco, and you can see this feat of engineering here, where they put together these-- this is the Coricancha, the Enclosure of Gold, in Cusco, and you can see this engineering feat, they put together these very large stones and here they are a series of chambers and each one is lined up with these trapezoidal openings right down to the end.

38:53 CS
Let me call your attention to this walk up here. See the very top one? And notice how it¿s a single block that¿s in a right angle. Isn¿t that beautiful the way that was carved just to fit, and there¿s another one right here that was carved just precisely to fit into that wall.

39:16 AC
I mean that¿s a lot of carving, that¿s a lot of hacking away of rock.

39:18 CS
This was the most important building in the empire. I mean we are in it. We are in the center of the world. This was it. This was the center of the world. This was where very very few people had access to. This was where the most important ceremonies, this was where the nobility the highest nobility lived and had their services and their rituals. I mean this was it, I mean this was it. And the architecture reflects that.

39:53 Ned
So they cut a cornerstone.

Yup. We¿ll see a number of stones like that in other parts of the city where they actually have multiple angled blocks that were carved very very precisely.

40:12 AC
It¿s surprising to me that these people never had a, they never developed writing or any formal kind of writing that we would recognize. But they developed obviously very high order of mathematics, civil engineering, metallurgy, architecture, astronomy, I mean they were¿

40:33 CS
Yes, they were the greatest engineers in the world. They certainly rivaled the Romans, probably did better in many cases. The writing is not all that important, we archaeologists have realized. Writing is important if you have very big market systems and you have lots and lots of goods going back and forth. The first writing systems probably came from accounting. If you look at the cuneiform tablets of the near east, the vast majority of them are very boring accounts, ah, ¿I give you so many sheep and I give you so many, you know, jars of wine or whatever.¿ Ah so writing seems to begin there. In the Inca empire you have the Kipu system which was an extremely sophisticated form of accounting for goods as well. It just never developed into the kind of writing systems that we see in other parts. But it doesn¿t reflect in any way¿it¿s like they don¿t have the wheel. You can see, looking to the mountains, why you don¿t need the wheel here. Wheels develop where you have horse-drawn carts and big steppe lands, big flat plains, where wheels made sense. Having a wheel in the Andes is like having a refrigerator in the Arctic, it¿s not really necessary.

41:50 AC
They never developed writing, but if your theories are correct about how the society was transforming itself, was in the process of developing a class-based system that was not kinship-based, not clan-based, wouldn¿t that have been the next step?

42:13 CS
Yeah, well actually that process actually occurred, in the Tiwanaku, in the Wari, and in the Moche states back in about 500-900AD. By the time you get to the Chimu, which I think is an empire, and the Inca, which is a Coluvian (?) empire, you had class-based systems. It was as much of a state as any other state that we know of around the world. But the writing, writing is functional. They had theater, they had plays, they had great art. They just didn¿t need it, they didn¿t need a writing system. They had the Kipu, the accountants were called the Kipucamayak (sp), they were the keepers of the Kipu. They had a very elaborate system by colors and by knots and by positions on the Kipu¿

Which is a piece of rope, with knots on it.

42:59 CS
Yes, it¿s a piece of rope, ah, usually wool or cotton with strings and there¿s knots on each of the string and then they were colored and they had, we¿re not entirely sure how the system worked but it seems to have been pretty straightforward. We have for instance in Lake Titicaca where I work, in the early 16th century, the...someone from Spain, his name was Garcidias de San Miguel, actually consulted the last Inca Kipucamayak person to tell him what was the population of the population of the Titicaca basin during the Inca empire. And the Kipukamayak went in, pulled out the Kipu, and gave him his numbers. And the numbers more or less correspond to what we know from other historical sources and accounting for disease and depopulation and yeah. So they were very, very efficient form of transmitting information. The writing simply wasn¿t necessary; it was an oral tradition that was extremely effective, plus the Kipus.

44:04 AC
Would you tell me again what this place represented, this, it was¿

44:07 CS
This was Coricancha¿

44:15 AC
Tell me again what this place represents.

44:20 CS

44:40 AC (softly)
Could you tell me again what this place represents?

44:43 CS
Yes. The Coricancha represents the center of the world. This was the most important building in the Inca empire. This was where the nobility lived and worshipped, the most important members of Inca society, the most powerful, this was it. We have a carved stone box over there that was for liquid rituals, that we¿ll talk about in a moment, chicha beer, perhaps water, perhaps blood. Ah, this was, the palaces were over there but this was the main religious and, and politically charged center of Cusco, the Inca empire.

45:21-46:20 ambi. Voices echoing.

46:21 CS-fading in
That was smelted and probably used as Althawapa¿s ransom and the Spanish melted it all down.

46:30 Leo expresses his unhappiness with this.

46:43 AC
So we¿re on the outside now of this structure. And you were telling me about this wall over here. Which is about 20 feet tall and it¿s curved. It¿s a curved wall.

26:59 CS
Yeah, the curved walls are pretty rare in Inca architecture and when you get a curved wall it¿s pretty special. It most often than not it¿s a kind of temple. And here we see the most important temple in the Inca empire. And essentially a series of terraces with curved walls; there was a river below, a spring; there was channels that went through. On these terraces, according to the documents¿it may be apocryphal it may be not¿but there were statues in gold and silver of figures of animals and so forth and maybe deities. There would have been beautiful, beautiful plants and flowers and it would have gone all the way up to that main wall, the 20 foot wall, and then it would have been covered, as you said, in gold sheet, that could have shimmered in the sunlight over the entire valley. Anybody coming into Cusco from any direction in the empire, would have once they reached the top of one of those hills where the pass is, would have been immediately awestruck with this bright gold, proclaiming this is it: the center of the world.

48:02 AC
That¿s a very large wall to be covered in gold sheet.

48:05 CS
Yeah. Well they had lots of gold. They had gold from the tropical forest in Carabaya and in Sandia, where we¿re going to be going. And they had gold of course from other parts of the Andes. They had both gallery mines and placer mines and they had a fairly well-developed system of extracting the gold. Unlike Europe they didn¿t use gold for coinage. It was used almost exclusively for embellishments and arts and crafts.

48:38 AC
So how long would that wall have been in existence as the Inca built it?

48:46 CS
Well the legends say that the Sun and the Moon were born in Lake Titicaca and they traveled here, where the founding Inca couple, also the personifications of the sun and the moon, put a golden staff into the ground. And where the golden staff didn¿t come up they were to build their city and this was it, right here. According to these documents they built a small enclosure made of perishable structures and then probably, we¿re just guessing now but most likely sometime around the ah early 15 century AD the Inca were beginning to become this great world power, [plane flies overhead] they built these structures here. There¿s some¿[waiting for plane to pass, restarts at 49:55] There¿s some very interesting and compelling data that suggests that the Inca empire may have started a little bit earlier, maybe in the early 14th century, 1300¿s. that¿s still in some matter of debate but that would push it back a little earlier, which would give it some more time depth. But certainly what you saw the Inca accomplish was accomplished in around two centuries or so, no more.

50:22 AC
Doesn¿t it seem just unbelievable?

50:25 CS
Ah, yes and no. It¿s unbelievable if you think in terms of Roman Empire and it took centuries and centuries for it to go. But if you look in the dynamics of the Andean states, the way they rose and fell quite quickly and the organizational genius and capacity of the highland peoples to mobilize. Once their main competitors were defeated, the Lupacas and the Coyas to the south in Lake Titicaca basin, the Inca essentially had no competitor. They had spent maybe a generation fighting all these other groups and then suddenly they were king of the hill, they were the ones that were bigger by orders of magnitude than any other group. And they just grew at an exponential rate.

51:29 Carolyn
Why is it that you always start your stories, why do you always start your books in Cusco, at this place?

51:36 CS
Well because, most people are aware of the Inca empire and the history of the Andes begins with the Inca, because that¿s the first recorded texts. And that¿s our richest understanding of Andean peoples. And once you go back you¿re into proto-history and then you¿re into pure archaeology. So I like to begin my scientific stories with what we know for sure from the historical documents and give the rich description of these cultures and then as we work our way back we use that as a means of interpreting what we see in the past.

53:00-54:29 ambi. Cars shifting gears, honking. Birds twittering occasionally.

54:50 CS
We¿re in Pikillacta. And that means, ¿Place of the Fleas¿ in Quechua. And it is a Wari site, dates from around 500 to 900AD. The Wari capital was in Iacucho, and this was one of their big colonies here.

55:00-59:08 ambi. Leo walking. Some background talking. Lot¿s of wind. Group chitchat. Decide to go up the hill and take a look. More walking. Lots of wind. Alex gets in position.

58:09 AC
So ah, what is this place?

59:12 CS
This is Pikillacta. This is a site from the Wari state. Wari existed around 500 to 900AD. And they were the immediate antecedents to the Inca Empire in this area. Now the site of Wari itself is centered in Iacucho. That¿s the big one, about 4 square kilometers in size. This is one of the great, looks like colonial outposts here. The site of Pikillacta. It was built on a grid pattern, it was all planned out. You can see how large areas over to the bottom of the hill are completely open. And they probably weren¿t used yet. So the site was abandoned before it was completely used inside the main perimeter wall, which is probably defensive. There¿s another site that we passed on the road coming in that¿s also Wari and there are several other sites in this whole valley that are Wari. So this whole thing is really one big settlement complex [big wind] protected by at least one big defensive wall on the hill behind us. And probably there was another defensive wall on the valley going out. So they had this whole region here with a very rich lake and all the agriculture terraces that you can see on the side there.

1:00:37 AC
This is, the whole area that¿s enclosed here is¿several football fields big. And the wall and the wall structures of what must have been buildings here I guess, it¿s made of rock fitted together. I¿m not sure this was cut rock.

1:01:05 CS
This is what we call dry stone mortar or apirca with mud. It was plastered on the inside, probably on the outside as well. If you notice, there were two story constructions, maybe even higher, you can see the lines in the walls there. Very very systematic and very modular, the organization. Very typical of the Inca empire.

1:01:34 AC
And how long were they here, do you know?

1:01:37 CS
Ah, a few centuries maybe. Maybe two centuries, three. But we¿re not entirely sure. There¿s been work done, excavations over there. It¿s turned up some interesting finds.

1:01:48 AC
Do you know what happened to them?

The Wari? No. It¿s one of the mysteries why the Wari disappeared. They disappeared around 900 to 1000AD. So did the Tiwanaku state at the same time, they were somewhat parallel. They were very different states, independent. There¿s only one area in the whole Andes where there¿s a substantial overlap in Tiwanaku and Wari settlement, and that¿s in Okegua. The Laraya pass, the word Coyasuyu [not exactly sure what Chip is saying here], Titicaca basin, appears to have been the boundary between the two, like it was in the later periods.

1:02:26 AC
How many people would have lived here do you think?

1:02:28 CS
Oh boy. It¿s really hard to tell, maybe a couple thousand, something like that. We don¿t know whether these were just people from Wari itself who came here as administrators and then they had other people living all outside on the peripheries who were serving them. So we haven¿t really done sufficient work on the peripheral sites. But certainly this was obviously a major substantial occupation here.

1:03:00 AC
What¿s going on with the site now?

1:03:03 CS
Ah, it has been barely excavated. We¿ve mapped it. The Institute of Culture in Peru has started some excavations as you can see, where we have these plaster walls. But by and large the site is in a very good state of preservation because there hasn¿t been any agriculture or major land use and it¿s now protected by a national park.

1:03:25 AC
But it¿s just sitting here. I mean it¿s just here.

1:03:29 CS
Yeah, as with most major sites in the Andes, there¿s just so many and there¿s not enough resources to work the site adequately. We can barely keep up with sites being destroyed, let alone sites we¿ve protected.

1:03:49 AC
Did the Wari leave pottery or metalworking or anything that would tell you more about their culture?

1:03:58 CS
Yeah, they were master craftsmen. Their pottery is absolutely exquisite, some of the finest pottery in the ancient world, worldwide, beautiful oranges and yellows and blacks, on vases and on serving vessels. They were also expert on working obsidian, which is a volcanic stone that has both aesthetic and functional value. They were expert metalworkers, particularly copper. They worked greenstone as well. And we think, some of us think, I do, I think that one of the main sources of their wealth and power came from this trade, controlling the access to obsidian and other commodities up and down the Andes. I don¿t think it¿s a coincidence that this particular site is right on the major road that would become the Inca road as well.

1:04:50 AC
This is the one road if you¿re going south to Lake Titicaca, the road that we followed out of Cusco, twenty miles or so. This is it, this has always been the road.

1:04:59 CS
This is it, yup. This is, if you¿re going to get from here to there you¿ve got to go over that pass and this is the easiest way to get there. So, certainly Wari were using this road, and undoubtedly people before the Wari were using it as well.

1:06:23-1:07:41 ambi. Very windy. Some voices in the background can be heard when the gusts die down. Occasional whistle.

1:07:41-1:09:40 walking. Background discussion with Chip and Carolyn. Discussion of who will shoot. Ned going to get a shot while Alex talks to Chip.

1:09:40 AC
So ah, tell me again, this is the Wari people built this.

1:09:45 CS
Right, the Wari people, around the 6th century AD to the 10th century AD. And their capital was in Iacucho, which was in the Central Andes [wind comes up] a bit distant from here¿

1:10:01 changing positions, too much wind. Rearrange.

1:10:37 AC
But these are plaster walls, the walls here have been plastered over.

1:10:42 CS
In antiquity, when these were built, what they did was they came in and they took a lime, some kind of lime plaster and plastered the floor so it was a beautiful white. And then they plastered the walls as well. Now it¿s quite possible that there was other designs on these things that we just haven¿t recovered yet. But you can well imagine how magnificent it would have been to have probably both interior and exterior of these walls completely plastered in two stories over a square kilometer or so of settlement. It would have been really quite impressive.
They created one of the most, I think, the way these early states developed, at least in the Andes and I think all around the world is that the very first ones could control anywhere they wanted, within their reach, but they couldn¿t control everywhere, they could only control a few places. So instead of like an empire that kind of rolls over the landscape, creating provinces and coming in and creating these big bureaucracies, these very first states, throughout the entire world, had to pick and choose and they¿d pick and choose certain areas that were strategic and economic and for whatever reasons that they wanted to control that. And you usually find these colonial enclaves, whatever you want to call them, on roads, near really good agriculture. And that seems to be the key to why they would settle here. Then they¿d have a series of garrisons or whatever you want to call them, up and down the road system that would control the flow of commodities and maybe troops

1:12:17 AC

1:12:18 CS
Oh, I think troops. They¿re definitely militaristic. There¿s very little doubt in my mind based upon the iconography and the physical anthropology from this time period in Andean history that these were militaristic empires, states that expanded out.

12:45-12:57 chatting, Chip and Ned.

12:58 CS
But the effect here is, instead of having blocks, like the Inca, who really did it right, you just take regular fieldstone, pile ¿em up with some mud mortar, then you plaster it over with ah, the plaster would keep the water from getting in, and you would have kind of the similar visual effect of solidity, even though it wasn¿t solid rock.

1:13:20 AC
Well, it¿s stood here for, (CS: that¿s true) 1500 years.
It¿s kind of surprising to drive down the road, to see a site like this, and to pull into it and find that it¿s just kind of sitting here. That is, there¿s no, there¿s not a guard at the gate, there¿s no rangers around to make sure you don¿t walk off with some of the stones or, it¿s just here.

1:13:51 CS
It would be impossible for the Peruvian government, or I think almost any government, to be able to give the level of protection to the sites that they need. It¿s just not physically possible. There are so many sites like this. I can show you hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of sites. In my own work we¿ve discovered in the last 15 years maybe three or four dozen sites, not this size, but of this importance, that are just out there, just sitting there. No one even knew about them, I mean they weren¿t even recorded; we just did the basic archaeological cataloguing of them. So, the Andes is just so full of a history that goes back, for millennia, in so many different cultures that were so rich and so impressive, who were able to mobilize so much labor and build these things. They¿re everywhere.

1:14:42 AC
Why is it that we don¿t know about these places? That is, I told people that I was coming down here to look for sites that were unexplored and unrecorded. And people are very surprised to hear that there are sites that are unknown.

1:15:04 CS
It¿s a frontier. You have to realize that, I say this a lot to get home the point. If you walked a comparable distance of the Inca empire, starting in the Nao valley, and you went east, you would go through Mesopotamia and you would land up in the Innes Valley. It¿s a huge, huge area. The Inca empire was probably a million and a half square kilometers. Massive. We have no idea what¿s sitting in the forest there, covered. And like I said, on my own work, over the last 15 years we¿ve discovered literally hundreds and hundreds of new sites, many dozens of which would be considered major monuments in any other country in the world. Peru is just so rich in the prehistoric past that there¿s just, there¿s just countless sites. It¿s just hard to believe.

1:16:49 right near the fortresses, 20 feet away from previous conversation

1:17:05-1:18:51 ambi. Not much noise. Some birds.

1:17:46, 1:17:50 FX bee buzzes by.

1:19:14-1:20:43 ambi. Leaves rustling in the wind.

1:21:39 AC
We¿ve been here in Cusco; we¿ve come south a little bit to this site, and we¿re headed down here to Puno¿it looks likes a long way. (CS: quite a bit, yup) So where are we going along here?

1:21:51 CS
Well, we¿re on the main highway from Cusco, like you said, heading south, we¿re heading southeast. And we¿re in the Lucrey area, which is where Pikillacta is, right outside the site of Waro, which might be another big Wari site. And then as we head down south we¿re going to get to the major town of Sicuwani, and that¿s within a very short distance to the pass. And this is the pass at Laraya. And this pass, which also is the, like the county division, departmental division here, between Cusco and Puno, is the cultural boundary in the prehistoric periods as well. So this was the Coyasuyu, where the Coyas were, land of the quarter of the Coyas. And north of that was the Inca heartland. So we will then keep moving down, we will get to the great archaeological site of Pukara, which is right near the tip about twenty-five kilometers from the Lake Titicaca northern edge. And there we will see the beautiful [beeping noise] stone carvings and the phenomenal terraces of this very very early site that goes back to 200BC up to [beep again] AD200-300. We¿ll keep working our way down, past the modern industrial town of Juliaca, and we get into Puno. Eventually we¿re going to work our way up north again, go into Wankine, going around the lake, so we¿re in the northwestern side of the Lake now, and we¿re going to work our way around that, get to Wankine, and then go dead north to Putina. As you can see there, Putina, the mountain chain comes like this, and Putina is really the last stop before you go over the mountains. Either go this way or this--either go to the southern route or the northern route, but all the roads lead to Putina before you go over. And that¿s why we started working there. Because the idea was that it was on the eastern slopes that were very important to the Titicaca basin peoples. So if they were coming anywhere into the northern Titicaca basin they would have to go through the Putina valley. And that¿s where we¿ll be spending some time as well.

1:24:33 Alex does it again for Ned.

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