Docstoc

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail

Document Sample
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail Powered By Docstoc
					La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail
SDF

Presented to:

Boston Office

4 October 2002

History of the Maya

Mayan history begins in about 250, and lasts until about 1000. The famous disappearance of the Maya was actually a slow fade over about 100 years. From roughly 700 AD, the center of Mayan civilization moved from the highlands of Guatemala to the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula. The Maya were largely an urban people, building large cities surrounded by fields and residential suburbs. Each province developed its own architectural style and city design, with smaller cities mirroring the capital. The Mayan glyphs were a system of counting and writing that baffled scientists for many years. Only a few texts survived the conquest, and the stelae in the cities are largely ceremonial or astronomical in nature. The numerical system was deciphered first, followed by the textual glyphs. This decoding is still in progress, with some 800 glyphs having been identified across the Mayan world. The Maya are known for the violence of their art and the vicious ball game played throughout the mesoamerican world. Personal mutilation was used in religious rites, generally by the ruler and his family. Human sacrifice was also practiced. After the decline of the Maya, other civilizations took over the lowland areas of Mexico and Guatemala. The Aztec took some aspects of Mayan civilization, including the ball game and the human sacrifice. In the highlands, the older Classic Maya tribes survive to this day, speaking Quechua and practicing the Mayan religion alongside Catholicism.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

1

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

2

Copàn

• Inhabited 400 – 800 AD • One of the largest Maya cities with a population of 25,000 • Known for rich sculptural detail • Cultural center of the Classic period • Famous sites: Hieroglyphic staircase, ball court, gathering of stelae

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

3

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

4

These Mayan glyphs name the ruler during the time the altar above was built. Note the detailed carving, still visible after 1200 years.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

5

The carvings at Copàn are extremely detailed and deep, in contrast to the Palenque relief. An open plaza has been turned into a sculpture garden of sorts, holding stela and bits of carving from around the site.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

6

A typical stela will have a relief of a warrior king on the front, and glyphs detailing the date of the stela and its purpose on the sides. They were erected to commemorate anniversaries, victories, and other events in the reign of the viceroy of the city.
The subject is frequently elaborately costumed and masked, holding ritual gear. The calendar glyphs on the side give a very precise date, used to create a history of the people.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

7

The famous meso-american ball game was played on courts like this one. Note the three round bird heads on the side walls, probably used for scoring. The stepped temple from which this photo was taken probably served as a viewing area. This is the fourth ball court on this site, each built on top of the former. The green tarp in the right foreground covers the hieroglyphic staircase, which cannot be photographed.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

8

The open plaza now holding the sculpture garden can be seen behind the ball court.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

9

Tikal

• Inhabited 250 – 900 AD • Vast urban area with a population exceeding 100,000 • Considered “classic” or “standard” Maya city • Long causeways link plazas, with temples overlooking • Famous sites: Templo del Grand Jaguar (I), Temple de los Inscripciones

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

10

Temple I (Templo del Grand Jaguar)

Temple IV (unnamed)

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

11

Temple II? This one you can climb.

Coatimundi as seen on the grounds

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

12

This round altar is enscribed with glyphs around the edge, which seem to contain both a date and a ruler’s name. The central panel shows a sacrifice. Very few stelae and other carvings survive at Tikal, but the temples are in much better condition and most can be climbed.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

13

Yaxchilán

• Inhabited 400 – 700 AD • Accessible only by river, small population • Many carved lintels and stelae in excellent condition • Famous sites: labyrinth

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

14

The honeycomb tops on the temples at Yaxchilán are specific to this region. Honeycombs are seen further north and west, but not to the east. Note the stonework on the bottom level, which is not as fine as in other regions. Since Yaxchilán is so remote, very few visitors or archeologists come here. Unlike the other sites, this one is more realistic with fewer signs, staircases, and vendors.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

15

This set of caves is home to some tombs and many, many bats.

The temples are less restored here, but still accessible.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

16

The quality of carving is good, but much more shallow than in Copàn.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

17

Bonampak

• Inhabited 600 – 800 AD • Discovered 1946, until recently accessible only by 10k hike • Brilliantly colored murals – the only painted surfaces remaining in the Maya ruins • Famous sites: murals

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

18

This is the entirety of the site. The stelae are similar to those at Yaxchilán, with shallow carving now largely eroded. The building on the right with the doors holds the famous murals, which cannot be photographed.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

19

Palenque

• Inhabited 250 – 800 AD • Tower structure unique in Maya architecture, constructed to give a view of the winter soltice • Shows influence of Teotihuacan culture • Famous sites: Tower, Temple of the Inscriptions

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

20

The construction of Palenque is unlike most other Maya sites, using corbeled vaults like these in the hallways. While there are stepped temples, they have square buildings on top (as in the last slide). A few have honeycombs similar to, but smaller, than those in Yaxchilán. Many of the roofs have the small finials seen in this photo, specific to this site. The carving in Palenque is very shallow, and some of the human figures are strangely out of proportion.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

21

This reproduction shows how the stelae would have appeared at the time of the Maya.

Note the different style of this memorial, with the glyphs on the left and the figure to the right.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

22

The most famous building at Palenque is this “palace”, most likely a temple and watchtower. The tower is unlike anything in Maya construction, and may be a Teotihuacan influence. The flat roof and square construction is similar to the temples in the rest of the site. From the base of the tower, you get a lovely view of the valley below – the top room most likely commands a 360 degree view for defensive purposes.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

23

Important Travel Tips

Most of the Maya sites are heavily visited by foreigners and locals alike. There are wellmarked paths and staircases to climb. However, there are some important rules to follow.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

24

History of the Inca

Until 1400, the Inca nation was a small, regional culture based in the central highlands of Peru. In the 1400s, the Incas began the greatest and most rapid expansion ever recorded. After 50 years, the Inca dominated a region from Columbia to Chile. By the time the Spanish arrived in 1532, Cuzco was a large and thriving metropolis with multiple palaces and shrines covered in sheets of gold. The Inca did not have a system of writing, but communicated across their vast empire with quipus, a strand of cord attached to color-coded strings with series of knots. These were carried by relay-runners, supported by an elaborate system of roads and lodges. After the conquest, the empire was broken into several provinces by the Spanish. There was an Inca resistance led by Tupac Amaru, but this was quickly put down. In 1572, 40 years after the Spanish first entered the Andes, the last Inca leader was killed.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

25

Inti Raymi

Inti Raymi is a modern festival modeled on an Inca festival to welcome the return of the sun (Inti) on the solstice. The original celebration was banned in 1572, but was revived in the 1940s. Today, it is the second largest festival in Latin America. The festival begins at the Qu’oricancha, the Inca temple of the sun which is now topped with the church of Santo Domingo. In the plain beneath the temple, warriors and the queen’s handmaidens gather while the Inca, his consort, and the priests pray at the great sun disc. The Inca and his bride oversee the beginning of the ceremony, then are loaded into litters for a procession through Cuzco and on to Sacsayhuaman. The role of the Inca and other key participants are highly sought by the local tribes, and people work for hours to make elaborate costumes similar to traditional Inca garb. The procession slowly makes its way uphill and enters the central square of the fort. The Inca and the priest mount a central dias, while the warriors and handmaidens gather around the square in colorful geometric patterns. The stages of the festival include prayers, a (fake) lllama sacrifice, and the lighting of the ritual fires. After a celebratory dance, the Inca returns to this litter and is carried back to the city, followed by the rest of the group. All evening, local dance and music groups parade through the city in celebration.
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

26

The Qu’oricancha and the disc of the sun, with the church above.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

27

The central plaza of Cuzco, the Plaza de las Armas, filled with a parade and spectators. Note the rainbow flag of Cuzco on the right.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

28

In the plaza at Sacsayhuaman, the festival of Inti Raymi continues on a stage. There probably was an altar somewhere at the site, though not in this area. The Inca queen is seen in brown and white in the middle ground, surrounded by her handmaidens in blue. People from the different regions of the Inca empire are in different colors in the four quadrants of the plaza. The Inca is on the stage with priests and generals, conducting the ceremonies.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

29

The llama “sacrifice” has just concluded, and the warriors are removing the carcass to the storage site below. Unfortunately, the llama refused to play dead and squirmed quite a lot on the way. The high priest is the gentleman with the sun on his cloak.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

30

The Inca hails the crowd as he is carried out of the plaza after the ceremony. His standard uses the colors of the Cuzco flag. Note that his bearers carry quipu bags.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

31

After the potentates leave, several local dance troupes circle the plaza performing local dances and piping. The costumes are specific to a valley in the highlands.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

32

Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman sits on the hills above Cuzco. Built of massive stones, it is a fort and religious complex marking the source of the river that flows through the city. The stones used here are large are are carefully carved to fit together. This is one of three kinds of stonework seen in Inca sites.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

33

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

34

Fun Trekking Facts – Day One
Hours Hiking Elevation (lowest to highest) Distance Campsite Elevation 3 2500 - 2700 m 2.5 km 2500 m

# granola bars* eaten
* Brought at great trouble and expense from the US

0

# chocolate bars* eaten
* Given away free in Peru

1

# cups Nescafe and mate de coca drunk Most interesting thing on the trail Most interesting campsite trivia Overall happy hiker scale

4 Lack of climbing Has sauna

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

35

Pisac

Pisac, not far from Cuzco, is a fabulous site on a hill over the Urubamba river. The stones are smaller than at some other sites, set with precision and artistry. It may have been as astronomical observatory.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

36

Note the smaller, more rectangular and regular stonework here. These are also fitted together without mortar, but are more brick-like than the large boulders generally associated with Inca architecture. This is the second style of Inca stonework, which seems to have been used for important but non-religious buildings. Note the slight inward incline of the walls, as seen at the corners, which provides stability.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

37

Salineras

The hills above the Urubamba river have massive salt deposits. These have been mined since the days of the Inca, and are still active.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

38

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is both a fortress and a temple. The massive temple of the sun is unfinished, with large stones left in a cleared section waiting to be put in place. It is the best preserved Inca site, and sits near the head of the Inca Trail.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

39

The entrance to the Temple of the Sun with several niches to the side. Here we see the boulder-style construction again, probably denoting a religious site.

A bath fed by a stream

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

40

The stones used in Inca buildings are carefully carved and sanded to fit perfectly without mortar. There is a stone in Cuzco with 12 sides, the corners rounded and smoothed to fit into place with no gaps.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

41

This stone was left during construction in this interesting position. The meaning of the protrusions is unknown. They might have been used for construction to hold ropes, or they might have been for some other reason. Some of these protrusions have been left on the finished stones, some were removed.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

42

Our first campsite was pretty luxurious, though I’m not sure about the little tent-huts.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

43

A view of Salcantay from our first campsite in the early morning.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

44

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Two
Hours Hiking Elevation (lowest to highest) Distance Campsite Elevation # granola bars* eaten
* Brought at great trouble and expense from the US

10 2500 - 3600 m 11 km 3600 m 0

# chocolate bars* eaten
* Given away free in Peru

3

# cups Nescafe and mate de coca drunk Most interesting thing on the trail

8 Puma

Most interesting campsite trivia
Overall happy hiker scale
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

Far, high, dark

45

Llactapata, a small farming community on the hill near the river.

The Urubamba river

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

46

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Three
Hours Hiking Elevation (lowest to highest) Distance Campsite Elevation # granola bars* eaten
* Brought at great trouble and expense from the US

4 3600 - 4200 m 4 km 3800 m 0

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Three
# chocolate bars* eaten
* Given away free in Peru

2

# cups Nescafe and mate de coca drunk Most interesting thing on the trail

6 Waterfall

Most interesting campsite trivia
Overall happy hiker scale
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

Highest campsite

47

The trail as seen from the Abra Warmiwanusca (the first and highest pass).

One of these would be very helpful on the climb.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

48

Runkurukay

Runkurukay is a small fortress above the river, with a curious rounded construction probably used for optimal viewing. Note the third type of Inca stonework – piles of small stones held together with mortar.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

49

A campsite near a pond is very scenic, but careful where you step if you go out at night.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

50

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Four
Hours Hiking Elevation (lowest to highest) Distance Campsite Elevation # granola bars* eaten
* Brought at great trouble and expense from the US

6 3600 - 4000 m 8 km 3600 m 0

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Four
# chocolate bars* eaten
* Given away free in Peru

3

# cups Nescafe and mate de coca drunk Most interesting thing on the trail Most interesting campsite trivia Overall happy hiker scale
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

8 Tunnels, rain Wet and at top of hill

51

Important Travel Tip: Cameras are not waterproof

Nor is film

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

52

Fun Trekking Facts – Day Five
Hours Hiking Elevation (lowest to highest) 6 2500 - 3700 m

Distance
HOTEL Elevation # granola bars* eaten
* Brought at great trouble and expense from the US

11 km
2500 m 0

# chocolate bars* eaten
* Given away free in Peru

3

# cups Nescafe and mate de coca drunk Most interesting thing on the trail Most interesting HOTEL trivia Overall happy hiker scale

6 Machu Picchu Has plumbing

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

53

Phuyupatamarka

Phuyupatamarka (cloud-level town) is set roughly 6 hours hike from Machu Picchu. It has very unusual curved walls and a series of stream-fed baths. Again, it uses the third type of Inca stonework.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

54

Intipata

Intipata is a fairly newly discovered site on a hill several hours from Machu Picchu. It is not on the beaten path, and is currently under excavation.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

55

Intipata has a classical set of stepped fields for agriculture, some only a foot or two wide.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

56

Wiñay Wayna

Wiñay Wayna is one of the most beautiful sites on the trail. Built on a steep hill, the city has intricate rooms and stairways and commanding views of the valley below.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

57

The residential section of the city is at the bottom of the hill in a small quadrant with baths and small rooms.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

58

Intipunku

Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, sits along the trail at the entrance to the valley where Machu Picchu sits. From this point, you get your first view of the city.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

59

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a small city on on a sliver on land in a bend on the river. It was nominally discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Many theories exist about its use. Was it a sacred city? A nunnery? A royal hunting lodge?

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

60

The residential section of the city uses the more casual stonework and has many windows for artisan’s workshops.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

61

The Temple of the Moon has the more carefully fitted form of stonework, with trapezoidal windows. Note the altar in the background.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

62

Along the side of the slope are extensive steppes and small storehouses or residences.

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

63

La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

64

Thank you!

For more photos and possibly some information, visit: http://travel.portnoy.org/

“Serving vacation photos and commentary since 1998”
A division of Fly-by-Night Industries
La Ruta Maya and the Inca Trail_4 Oct 02

65


				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:123
posted:7/2/2008
language:English
pages:66