The Valle Sagrado and the Andean Condor
In the willka qhichwa - the valle sagrado - 33 km western of Cuzco, on the "mountain of the condor", the kuntur orqo you can find some ruins, which basement layout resemble the head and beak of the condor. The head is looking exactly in south-western direction, thus the imaginary condor, which head this resembles, comes from the north-east. Looking up into the night-sky this is exactly the location where the starsign Cygnus rises at the evening of the solstices, watching over the whole band of the milky-way, that spans across the sky with the Southern Cross. The inkas knew of a starsign Condor, which was a combination from dark nebulas and stars, thus having a different appearance then you usually are used to, regarding star-signs. From high above you can see the terraces, which resemble one wing of the bird, because the condor is shown from the side, not from above or below.
Much more obvious and well-known the ascending condor can be seen from the other side of the valley. A masterpiece of landside-architecture and -forming. In the andes you can find some more of those big representations. Thus there are two different representations of the andean condor at and around this mountain.
Kuntur orqo marks the location in Pisac, where the star-sign Condor is rising. As you may already suspect, I consider this old place of rituals as a place, where rites of passage and excarnatory rites were being conducted in very early times of history. It is possible that you know can figure out, why I named my website "The Flight of the Condor" back in 1998. The relationship of the andean condor and the star-sign Cygnus I myself realized in 2008. At first I was irritated that an ancient monument should show some actual astronomical datas. But the star-sign Cygnus always rises at this location - the only difference in the millenias is the angle of rising up. The image below shows the actual kuntur orqo, as you can visit it nowadays. In the second image I did some work to markup the andean condor, so that you can see it.
Well, personally I think this is a quite great thing that there is a location, dedicated to the andean condor. The whole sacred valley is full of such special locations at which you can see the myths from the times of the inca. It is interesting that the whole Valle Sagrado should resemble the milky-way, so the two authors Fernando and Edgar Salazar state. The milky-way is the path the deceased ones walk to reach the other side. This statement would fit well into the neolithic tendency to represent heaven on earth.
Of course you know the ancient ruins of the city nearby to the Macchu Picchu. The city itself does not possess any name, the indios referred to it as a place of ruins. At the time of discovery this place lost its name long ago. The name of the adjacent mountain, Macchu Picchu, was in former times the Machu Pichiu: old bird. It is said that the map of the ruines resemble that of the condor. There is also a rock that resembles a wing of the condor, as well as a stone-altar, which shows the head of the condor. The rock is not resting on earth, but is stuck between three other rocks and is sustained in the air. The original purpose of this representation is unknown to us.
Altar and ancient city - © by Dipl.-Ing. Rolf-Dieter Klein and his licensers.