Move over, Cusco’s famed 12-angle stone. Archaeologists have discovered a stone with 13 angles.
The discovery has been made by researchers investigating a stretch of the Inca road network, known as the Qhapaq Ñan, that runs from Vilcashuaman in the Ayacucho Andes to Pisco on the coast south of Lima, according to the state news agency Andina.
The Ministry of Culture said that the stone was built into an irrigation system at the Inkawasi archaeological site, located in Huancavelica region’s Huaytará district.
Like the 12-angle stone in the wall on Cusco’s Hatun Rumiyoc street, the stone at Inkawasi has been cut to fit in with impressive precision to the other stone blocks in the wall, an example of the the Inca skill of very fine masonry.
The water channeling system at Inkawasi includes detailed stonework of two fountains, one of which has the 13-angled stone. The two fountains are interconnected to a system of canals carved into the natural mountain rock and that descend towards the Viscacha river in straight and zigzag sections, the latter designed to slow down the flow of the water. The water that feeds the fountains comes from two mountain springs.
Traditionally, Andean civilizations —and certainly the Incas —have looked on springs, lakes and mountain glaciers as sacred, and the ritual management of water goes beyond its use for agricultural needs.
Inkawasi, located about 3,800 meters above sea level, was believed to have been one of the most important Inca fortresses in Huancavelica. The site was strategically important as it was located at the start of the river that irrigates the Huaytara valley.