Egypt is a country of secrets. Peru is a country of mysteries – including elongated skulls, razor sharp joints in multi-polygonal walls, knobs and dimples (again), magnetism and advanced agricultural techniques. Take a wander through here – or go straight to Rethinking: Peru (Video).
Pre-tour - Nazca and Paracas
DAY 1 – Paracas
The Paracas Museum is filled with unusually shaped skulls and, whilst the shape of many can be explained by cranial deformation, it’s the ones with the anomalous sutures that provide the puzzle.
Our resident rheumatologist, Dr. Maziar Badii explained that a condition known as Craniosynostosis causes the sutures in a human skull to fuse together too early in life and the remaining growth has to find another place to ‘go’ – hence long, tall skulls. But some of these skulls have extra sutures, some have missing sutures and some appear to have no sutures at all. A confusing picture, and Maz was at a loss to explain everything we saw here. See Video (0.52) for more.
DAY 2 – Ballestas Islands
Brien Foerster took us out for a nice day on a boat…
DAY 3 – Nazca and Ica
It’s believed by many that Ica Stones are evidence of ancient technology and an age when humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Sadly the truth is much more mundane: Brien took us to meet Snr. ‘Irma’ who has been making Ica Stones for the past 61 years (and even showed us how it was done). See Video (3.40) for the whole story.
And before we left, more elongated skulls! Could you actually imagine having a conversation with one of these people? LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU!!
DAY 1 - lima
A look around Lima, where we first experienced exactly how relaxed and stress-free Peru is. Despite our foreboding, a visit to the ‘Witches Market’ was a surprisingly peaceful affair; no raised voices, no tension, no negativity. A Slipknot or Black Sabbath CD would simply refuse to play in Peru for some reason – and when I came back I discovered something that may explain why.
Day 2 - Cusco
Now, the meat. I’m a qualified engineer. I came to Peru to investigate the mystery of the precision joints and to continue my research into the knobs and dimples mentioned in Rethinking: India (0.58). The existing theory regarding the construction of these walls is that the precision joints were produced by workers with hammers and chisels. I always had problems with this explanation because these walls looked like they were thrown together, with the huge stone blocks being regarded as nothing more than big lumps of marshmallow. Maybe chisels and careful measurement (and a hell of a lot of hard work) did this, but it seems obvious that these precision joints would have been far easier to produce if the exteriors of the blocks had somehow been softened.
But exactly how would the ancients have done this? Theories involving the application of conventional heat (a flame, torch or long spell inside a large kiln) all have the same limitation: vitrification. In other words, even if you could generate the massive levels of energy needed to melt these blocks, molten stone doesn’t reconstitute itself as stone; it turns to glass, and this is not what we see in the joints of these walls. Other less conventional theories involve sound, vibration and even ancient aliens, but the one explanation that stuck out as a serious contender was chemical, which, unlike many of the more exotic theories, doesn’t require an ancient power source. From a research point of view, this is a big plus. It’s also worth noting that there are indeed anecdotal tales from South America regarding a mysterious plant that could soften stone (see Video 5.10)…
The later work in Cusco is comprised of smaller blocks and, where some have been removed, it seems obvious that the builders were only concerned with providing the illusion of precision joints. This fits the pattern now well established by my visits to other sites around the world: The older work is larger and more precise than the newer. Click to enlarge.
Day 3 – Amaru Machay & Sachsayhuaman
At Amaru Machay, we saw two things that became a recurrent theme throughout the rest of our tour: ‘split staircases’ and ‘portals’. There is an enormous focus on agriculture in Peru: 3000 different types of potato and 200 different types of corn; and the split staircases could simply be emulation of the famous terraced farming technique found on the hills (sometimes farming at > 45 degrees). We even found a corn on the cob with larger than normal kernels that actually resembled the blocks in the walls. The portals could simply be ornamental features where vases, flowerpots and maybe even paintings were displayed…but, like the split staircases, there is another far more interesting interpretation.
On the way to the main site at Sachsayhuaman, we saw an area that had obviously been subjected to a high-energy event. Huge parts of some pre-existing structure have been thrown on their backs or simply smashed to pieces. It reminded me very much of Elephantine Island on the Egypt tour – and is yet more evidence of at least one catastrophic event in Earth’s past. Click to enlarge.
The enormous and very mysterious site at Sachsayhuaman (hover over to zoom). Some of the blocks are 100 tons plus. What was this site for? What did these walls keep ‘out’? The architecture seems to defy all functional explanation and a friend of mine even mentioned the possibility of numerous boats being moored up in these jagged recesses (perhaps if sea levels in the past had been radically different to those today).
At Sachsayhuaman the random distribution of dimples finally seemed to be suggesting a pattern: According to my observations at least, the dimples never seem to appear on the first courses of these walls. See Video (10.08) for more.
Day 4 – Inti Punku Sun Gate & Tipon
Sections of the Sun Gate have been extensively rebuilt, but the original work can clearly be seen (along with many, many knobs). Like Sachsayhuaman, the precision of the joints in these walls supports the theory of chemical stone softening and this started me thinking that if such a stone softener was freely available, it probably wouldn’t have been reserved just for the job of producing the joints. ANY stone job would have been easier to do with a chemical stone softener, and it may well have also been employed to rough out the blocks to size from quarried (as well as providing a few other engineering advantages too).
See Video (7.00) for more.
The enigmatic Sacred Valley. Here we saw advanced agricultural techniques in practice, reflected in the intentional mixing of both ‘male’ and ‘female’ water sources (water from above and water from below). The design of the valley also takes advantage of the mist which forms during the nights and provides further irrigation for the crops. Another distinctly tranquil and peaceful place.
No one was in any rush to leave…
Day 5 – Ollantaytambo
My favourite site in Peru. You genuinely feel as though you’re walking in the footsteps of the gods here. This site has some of the older, more precise work and, reassuringly confusingly, the biggest stuff is at the top (and transported there from miles away).
There are plenty of weird and wonderful artifacts at this site. The ‘scoop’ marks found on some of these stones would again imply a stone softening process was employed and it’s also worth noting that the scoops are very similar in size and depth to those found in the trench at the Aswan quarry, Egypt (below, right).
There are no chisel marks in these joints (right). Instead we see what appear to be ‘kinks’ and ‘lips’, which have more in common with stacked up beanbags than they do with assembled blocks of stone. This further supports the idea that these blocks, or at least their exteriors were softened, not chiselled to fit these profiles.
Which brings us on to this truly puzzling feature (left). A tall structure with a wedge-shape at its base would immediately imply a ramp, but a closer look reveals that the ‘grooves’ on this ‘ramp’ do not extend all the way up to the top edge of the rock. The rougher inverted ‘V’ shaped area actually stands proud of the grooves and would therefore stop (or at least inhibit) anything being dragged up in this way. It may be that this rock outcrop never originally had these grooves and they were added later for reasons unknown. It’s also interesting that this ‘grooves’/long rectangles feature is found at other sites around the world.
Knobs are not only found on blocks in walls. They are also found on stationary structures like here at Ñaupa Iglesia. According to the theory presented in Rethinking: Peru (7.00) the knobs are the leftovers of handles used for lifting these blocks into position. This explanation obviously can’t apply to these stationary knobs but, like the elongated skulls, some of them could be emulation of technique, perhaps in reverence of the architecture of a former civilisation.
And another portal (below). Wilko, our indigenous guide said that these mysterious features are indeed gateways to another dimension. The rationally minded will immediately reject this as laughable! So did I. At first.
Day 6 - Machu Pic’chu
Machu Pic’chu is an amazing site which has everything (including hundreds, if not thousands of tourists at 9am on a Saturday morning):
The big, precise stuff with knobs…
and numerous oddities in stone – including some dislodged blocks which feature the same signature ‘kinks’ and ‘lips’.
Day 8 – Bolivia
We drove past the main site at Puma Punku and I hardly noticed it. The H-blocks are nowhere near the size they appear on screen and this part of the site seemed to have a disconnected, ‘jumbled’ feel – as though these already strange pieces with mysterious features had been intentionally shuffled around. It’s like an unassembled jigsaw puzzle, with some pieces the wrong way up and some on their sides – and may even include pieces from other jigsaws.
The surfaces of some of these artifacts have bubbles, as if they were made in ancient casts. There’s no indication that this work was produced with chisels and no tool marks of any kind can be seen but, again, perhaps tools used in conjunction with a chemical stone softener could explain some of these features we see (a modern-day plasterer can achieve a very flat surface with a trowel, for example). This part of Puma Punku does indeed seem to have a ‘factory/foundry/production line’ feel to it – but what exactly were they doing here?
Despite my disappointment with the scale and overall ‘feel’ (or lack of it) at Puma Punku, when we started to explore the lesser-known areas of the site, things became interesting. The arrangement of the red sandstone courses reminded me of the steps into the Ganges and a moat structure may have once surrounded this site. See Video (14.30) for a better look and an interview with Brien Foerster.
These mysterious man-sized tunnels (left) angle down into the ‘moat’ and are found on either side of this structure. They may be gutters of some kind but are not similar to the rainwater systems found at other sites. These features again suggest some kind of process occurred here; something was ‘produced’ at this site.
More evidence of a cataclysmic event is found at Puma Punku with what appears to be a mudslide (below).
Because of the altitude in Peru many of us experienced problems with sleeping and breathing in general. Bolivia is even higher (12,000 feet above sea level) and, like some of the others, I hadn’t slept well the night before and wasn’t feeling great on the journey up. At Puma Punku I got out of the bus and felt fine – better than fine in fact – especially in the lesser-known areas of the site. This immediately reminded me of my experiences at The Sacred Valley and The Great Sphinx: a feeling of profound peace and well-being. A possible relationship between these other sites then became apparent: Each of them combine water with magnetism. See Video (12.56) for more.
And yet more elongated skulls! The owner of a nearby restaurant had a shed containing some examples and was kind enough to let us take a look inside. ‘What is it with these elongated skulls?’ I asked Wilko, our indigenous guide. He explained that there were originally twelve tribes of the elongated skulls and that ten of these tribes had apparently annihilated each other during a period of darkness. ‘What happened to the other two?’ I naturally asked. Wilko replied, ‘They’re still here.’
Like parts of Puma Punku, Tiwanaku has obviously been shuffled around and rebuilt. Maybe I’ve visited enough of these sites now to develop an intuitive ‘feeling’ regarding their authenticity (and maybe it’s all just my imagination) but it really felt like there was simply ‘nothing to see here’. No offence to anyone who visited Tiwanaku and had a wonderful experience, but I went back to the bus early and Joy spent the afternoon picking up litter. There was nothing ‘here’.
Day 9 – Valley of the Moon
I don’t remember seeing this place in any science fiction films or TV series and cannot understand why.
end of tour
Patricia, Suzan, Sharon and I originally tried to organise our own extension to Samaipata, but the airline changed their schedule and it just didn’t work out. Instead, we went back to Lima and Manuel very kindly took us to some other places of interest. First up – cool and misty Caral.
None of us had been to Caral before and had no idea what to expect. We were talking about Egypt in the bus and then…we arrived in Egypt! White gold sand, crystal clear blue skies and pyramids! It was great to be back! A little Egypt, it seemed – just for us.
Next up – Chavin and another split staircase. But this one looks like it may have actually been used to walk on. The curious thing here is the need to make one side of the staircase physically larger than the other. If you wanted to distinguish the left side from the right, you would merely have to paint or engrave it. There may be something in this intentional size difference on the split staircases and also something deeper in those portals seen all over Peru – but this explanation requires a step away from the scientific norm.
When I got back I discovered something that added weight to my theory of chemical stone softening; whereby an acidic substance derived from plants grown in vast numbers on areas of increased geomagnetism was used to help shape the blocks and produce the precision joints.
The South Atlantic Anomaly (left) is a region in the Southern Hemisphere that emanates something so strong, the Hubble Space Telescope has to be powered down for 20 minutes until it clears this area (if it isn’t, the electrical systems on board the HSS can be negatively affected). The South Atlantic Anomaly covers Peru – effectively making this country one very large geomagnetic hot spot! See Video (12.54) for more on magnetism and plant growth.
This is not only good news for the theory so far but also may explain why everyone in Peru seemed to be so peaceful and relaxed: Experiments performed on mice show that they’re attracted to magnetism and will congregate around a magnetic source, even when that source is disguised or hidden completely. I also know from previous experimentation that magnetism definitely has an effect on more than just metals and other magnets. It may be that our ancestors also knew how to influence magnetism and exploited this knowledge to maximise their environment.
something to think about...
Almost all researchers who have begun walking the path of ancient stone working techniques will have inevitably encountered the theory of a catastrophic event approx. 12,500 years ago that knocked the Earth off of its axis. There are many examples of destruction worldwide and if this theory is correct, we seem to have some kind of collective amnesia regarding this very turbulent period in our past. We may actually still be traumatised by this event and simply don’t – or don’t want to – remember, but it’s quite possible that things may have been very different for ‘us’ in the distant past.
As a species we’re currently tuned to the Schumann resonance of 7.83Hz but, before this cataclysmic event occurred, imagine that the Earth was spinning on a perfectly upright axis, just like a basketball on your fingertip. Imagine that the North and Magnetic poles were in exactly the same place and, because of this, imagine that our species was tuned to the Schumann resonance of the time; but to about 15 or 20 places of unwavering decimal accuracy. Imagine then, in this ultra-fine-tuned state, seeing what would be the obvious connections between magnetism, water and acoustics and instinctively knowing how to use this knowledge to maximise your environment.
The cataclysmic event then occurs – a comet, an asteroid or massive solar plasma event which fractures and scrambles the physical and metaphysical alike. The Earth is knocked off of its axis, spins out of kilter and the former fine-tuned state of existence is gone.
Now imagine being a monkey with two eyes, two arms, two legs and two dry sticks; a complex life form capable of producing fire, but unable to see the simple connection between friction and combustion.