INCA TERRACES IN THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
The presence of inca terraces systems throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas constitutes the terraces or Andean terraces, also known as terraces that are presented in various forms that constituted an important component in pre-Hispanic culture of Cusco and the Sacred Valley building infrastructure according to the ecosystem and terrain of the area.
The Inca terraces are part of the cultural landscape within the Sacred Valley of the Incas where they made use of diverse exosystems and climatic conditions where soil and water management techniques were used.
The terraces in the Sacred Valley have a “pirca” style, a style that corresponds to the stone wall.
TYPES OF TERRACES OR INCA TERRACES
Type 1: It consists of horizontal profile platforms with inclined retaining walls with irrigation which is the type of terraces found in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Type 2: Consists of horizontal profile platforms with vertical retaining walls with or without irrigation.
Type 3: Consists of inclined profile platforms
THE PLATFORMS OF THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
- It has an inclination to generate stability that varies between 5 to 15 degrees.
- The width of the platforms varies in relation to the slope of the terrain.
- The height varies in relation to the slope, the sacred valley has terraces that vary between 3 to 7 meters, the highest is found in Yucay.
- The designs are wide and varied with biases in some areas.
- Straight and curved lines in sectors that are divided by steps and water channels.
- Platforms designed in a U-shape or rectangular as those found in Ollantaytambo and another in a circular shape in the archaeological site of Moray.
- All platforms have a drainage system and sometimes access steps.
STRUCTURE OF THE TERRACES
- Built in strata, stones and rubble at the base of the retaining wall structures, meticulously worked to take advantage of irrigation water and maintain humidity and improve the drainage system of the terraces.
- A layer of sand and/or gravel placed on top of the stone filling on one level to facilitate the drainage system.
- A layer of clay soil to retain water and maintain humidity.
- Finally, the cultivation soil, a selected top layer that varies from 70 cm to 1 meter high.
DISTRIBUTION OF INCA TERRACES IN THE PROVINCE OF URUBAMBA – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Within the 7 districts of this province of Urubamba, an area of 3909.86 hectares of terraces has been identified, of which the group with the most terrace systems is found in the district of Ollantaytambo, which has an average of 1668.69 hectares.
- Chinchero 799.76 hectares
- Huayllabamba 440.68 hectares
- Machupicchu 75.48 hectares
- Maras 341.07 hectares
- Ollantaytambo 1,668.69 hectares
- Urubamba 426.10 hectares
- Yucay 158.08 hectares
DISTRIBUTION OF INCA TERRACES IN THE PROVINCE OF CALCA – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Within the 8 districts of this province of Calca, an area of 8574.65 hectares of terraces has been identified, of which the largest group of terrace systems is found in the district of Lares, which has an average of 2355.41 hectares.
- Calca 1,329.25 hectares
- Coya 858.62 hectares
- Lamay 1,097.33 hectares
- Lares 2,355.41 hectares
- Pisac 1,045.28 hectares
- San Salvador 917.45 hectares
- Taray 961.22 hectares
- Yanatile 10.09 hectares