The ancient Peruvians knew how to soften stone

In Peru on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco is the Sacsayhuaman complex, famous for its remarkable large stone walls with carefully fitted multilateral boulders (polygonal masonry) so that they fit tightly together without mortar. The stones used in the construction of the terraces at Sacsayhuaman, weighing up to 150 tons, are among the largest used in any building in pre-Hispanic America, and exhibit a precision of fit unmatched in the Americas.

The precision of cutting the stones and forming the blocks using (if official science is to be believed) only round stone hammers raises many questions among scholars. The method used to precisely match the shape of the stone with the neighboring stones is still unknown, especially because no tools have been found in the vicinity.

However, the standard scientific explanation is that the Incas used the “guess and check” method, chipping the stone with their stone tools, then setting the stone in place, checking how it fits, then picking it up and chipping it further if necessary (this is ridiculous, but because scientists can carry absolutely any nonsense under the guise of “maybe, probably, most likely, probably etc.). But with only round rock hammers and repeatedly lifting 100-ton blocks for correction throughout the process, this method seems exceptionally unlikely even to the scientists themselves.

History textbooks say that Sacsayhuaman was completed in 1508, but those who lived only a few decades later have claimed to have no idea how the walls were built. Neither, it seems, did anyone else. Textbooks, as usual, lie.

In fact, the Incas themselves admitted to the Spanish conquistadors that these structures existed long before them, built by others. Is it possible that the Incas were building on top of pre-existing structures? If the builders were even more ancient, that would mean that there was a civilization far more advanced than the Incas, but about which we know almost nothing, except that they could build structures like Sacsayhuaman.

There are many theories as to how the inhabitants of ancient Peru could create such perfect structures. One interesting theory has its roots in a local legend told by explorers such as the legendary Percy Fawcett and Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered Machu Picchu. The legend speaks of a liquid derived from plants that the ancients knew made the stones soft. In fact, in 1983 a Catholic priest said that he had used this technique to achieve softening of the stones, but could not figure out how to make the stones hard again.

Although this theory remains controversial, the marks on some of the stones at Saksaiwaman do indicate that the stones were shaped by making them malleable (like plasticine).

It seems quite obvious that the stone wall was not created by stone hammers and by repeatedly raising and lowering massive stones.

Structures like these invite us to learn more about our past and realize that the ancients may have been much more advanced than we think.

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