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  SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS: MORAY

The Terraces of Moray

Moray is a great archaeological complex, formed by a system of platforms of enormous terraces that overlap, acquiring the shape of a gigantic theater. These beautiful terraces formed an agricultural laboratory, in which the incas experimented and obtained improvements. Incredible advances were made in agriculture, which was the incas’ main activity and the basis of their economic development.

The huge circular terraces of Moray, are located 53 km. from Cusco down the road that leads to Urubamba.
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The Archaeological Complex of Moray

The daring conceptions of the Inca constructions had no limits. Throughout the world, man has generally built from the ground upwards. In Moray they worked down, removing tons of stone and rocks and using thousands of workers for many generations, to give form to many groups of terracing in an almost perfect circular form.
It is possible that the word Moray comes from the term "a moray", corn harvesting or from "moraya" or "moray" which is the name for dehydrated potato.

Barrionuevo describes the monument in the following way: "7 km. from Maras lie the hanging gardens of Moray, built in a gigantic trough. A series of circular platforms descend to a depth of 150 meters. There the incas grew wheat, quinoa grain, panti, kantu flowers and other plants as part of an experiment. A system of canals where the rain accumulates today ensured the irrigation of the hanging terraces of the amphitheater. Moray was with no doubt an artificial paradise of plants and flowers, something like a greenhouse within the ground".

The decoration took advantage of the natural depressions in the terrain, which they shaped based on an architectural plan. This included the construction of a network of aqueducts and drains, for the irrigation and release of water brought by the rains. It was so perfectly built that it still works perfectly.

The Ande´s Agricultural Laboratory, The creation of Micro-climates 

The experts agree that Moray is an agricultural complex. Today, on the Maras plateau, potatoes, lima bean, wheat and barley and little corn is grown due to the fact that the weather is too cold for this crop.

Until recently, the farmers of Moray grew corn, but it was later prohibited in order to protect the terraces.
Historian Victor Angles says that at some point the inhabitants of the plateau and the gorge became enemies, interrupting trade. This is what sparked the need to prepare the land for corn farming, and they decided to dig giant furrows to warm up the land in order to grow corn.

John Earl, a researcher into Andean history, measured the temperature of these terraces at different levels, finding there were different micro-climates. It was found that the lowest temperature was at the lower level followed by the natural plain, and finally the last steps, which registered lower temperatures still.
It is possible that the ancient settlers for some reason needed more corn, which could have been the reason for the construction of this important region.


SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Pisaq Chinchero
Calca Moray
Urubamba Maras
Ollantaytambo .
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