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Sun altar. Granite outcrop carved to form an altar called the hitching post of the Sun

Sun altar. Granite outcrop carved to form an altar called the hitching post of the Sun


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Sun altar. Granite outcrop carved to form an altar called the hitching post of the Sun

Sun altar. Granite outcrop carved to form an altar called the hitching post of the Sun (Intihuatana). This is a relic of the Incas, a people that ruled an extensive empire in their native Andean regions of northern South America in the 15th and 16th centuries. The Incas worshipped the Sun and held many elaborate ceremonies to mark important events such as the winter solstice. At this time of the year the Incan priests would tie the Sun to the hitching post to halt its northward movement in the sky. The Intihuatana stones were supremely sacred to the Incas, with many being destroyed by the invading Spanish conquistadors. Photographed in the mountain city of Machu Picchu, Peru

Science Photo Library features Science and Medical images including photos and illustrations

Media ID 6367853

© DAVID NUNUK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Altar Ancient Ancient Civilisation Andean Archaeology Archeology Architecture Ceremonial Ceremony Granite High Altitude Inca Incan Incas Machu Picchu Mountains Peruvian Religion Religious Rock South American Stone Worship Intihuatana


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