Rumicolca PERU provides a chance to see clearly how the Inca built on top of strutures from other cultures that pre-dated them
Go to Rome and you soon learn that most of the ancient churches are built atop Roman ruins. The Conquistadors did the same thing—building the colonial churches atop the Inca holy sites. At Rumicola—as elsewhere, but in an especially easy to see example-- you learn that the Inca had the same playbook.
The Rumicolca name is said to come from the Quechua for stone (rumi) and storehouse (qulqua). What you see there are distinctive round stones of Wari architecture as the base structures that the larger distinctive irregular boulders of Inca style lie atop.
While the Incas get lots of credit for the anti-seismic architectural engineering prowess, Rumicola lets you see that they weren’t the first in this area to wrap their heads around how to keep seismic damage to a minimum. The Wari approach was to incline walls, which you see here and in the far more expansive nearby Pikillaqta site.
Aqueduct in Wari Times; Control Outpost on Inca Roads
The tops of the walls show an aqueduct that may have been related to supplying water to the residents of nearby PIkillacta in Wari times. The Inca though used the structures you see at Rumicolca strictly for control, a stop point along a cross-section in their vast empire.
As interesting as this display of Inca atop Wari may seem, the breathtaking natural beauty of Lake Huacarpay that you see en route seemed to this writer to steal the show. In early morning its mirror capture and reflections of the mountains above seemed in itself worth the drive for a gander. You too might feel like you are seeing a Vail or Jackson Hole before it becomes a magnet for the rich and famous. It occasioned this writer to ask the guide if rich Peruvians bought land here for second homes. So far…no.
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