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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

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Media ID 6368535


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

This print showcases the mesmerizing Sun altar, a remarkable relic of the ancient Incas. Carved meticulously into a granite outcrop, this altar is known as the hitching post of the Sun or Intihuatana. The Incas, who once ruled vast territories in northern South America during the 15th and 16th centuries, held deep reverence for the Sun and conducted elaborate ceremonies to commemorate significant events like the winter solstice. During this time of year, Incan priests would skillfully tie the Sun to this hitching post, effectively halting its northward movement across the sky. The Intihuatana stones were considered supremely sacred by these ancient people; sadly, many were destroyed by Spanish conquistadors during their invasion. Photographed in Machu Picchu, Peru's mountain city renowned for its archaeological wonders, this image transports us back in time to witness an extraordinary piece of Incan architecture and religious devotion. Nestled amidst breathtaking tropical landscapes and towering mountains at high altitudes, Machu Picchu stands as a testament to an advanced ancient civilization that thrived in harmony with nature. The photograph captures not only an incredible archaeological find but also evokes feelings of awe and wonder towards a culture long gone yet still fascinatingly present through remnants like this sun altar. Science Photo Library has beautifully preserved this momentous piece of history for all to appreciate and learn from.

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