Thirteen-angle stone discovered in ancient Inca wall reveals incredible skill of masons
Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed an ancient Inca wall during excavations at the Incahuasi archaeological site in the Huancavelica Region of Peru, which includes a precisely carved stone with thirteen angles, enabling it to fit perfectly among the surrounding blocks. Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced that the wall formed part of a sophisticated hydraulic system.
The Inca wall was discovered in Incahuasi, an archaeological site in Huancavelica Region, Peru (Credit: Google Maps)
The Inca civilization is well-known for its advanced masonry work, much of which can still be seen today in Machu Picchu and Sacsayhuaman in Peru. Their large dry stone walls display huge blocks that had been carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar and with levels of precision unmatched anywhere else in the Americas. The stones are so closely spaced that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward have puzzled scientists for decades. The method used to match precisely the shape of a stone with the adjacent stones is still unknown.
Cyclopean polygonal masonry at Sacsayhuamán in Peru (Wikipedia).
The most famous of all is the twelve-angled stone, which sits in a wall in the Hatun Rumiyoc street of Cuzco, which draws tourists from far and wide who wish to get a glimpse of this incredible work of masonry. However, it appears that the twelve-angled stone has now been outdone as researchers have located a stone with an even greater number of angles.
Twelve angle stone, in the Hatun Rumiyoc street of Cuzco (Wikipedia).
According to Peru’s Ministry of Culture, the stone with thirteen angles was found in an Inca wall that formed part of a hydraulic system in Incahuasi (“Inca House”), an important archaeological site containing numerous Inca ruins.
The wall was part of an interconnected network of water channels. (Credit: Peru’s Ministry of Culture).
The Incas created an interconnected network of channels to receive water that came down the hill and fed into the Viscacha River. However, it is unclear whether the Inca channelled the water for agricultural or ritual purposes, or both. The Inca culture revered waterholes, lakes, and glaciers, which were viewed as sacred places of origin.
Featured image: Thirteen-angle stone found in Incahuasi, Peru. (Photo: Ministry of Culture)