Home Archaeology Inka Engineering Symposium 3: Cusco, Inka Capital: Planning and Construction

Inka Engineering Symposium 3: Cusco, Inka Capital: Planning and Construction


In Part 3 of Engineering the Inka Empire: A Symposium on Sustainability and Ancient Technologies, Crayla Alfaro Aucca, José Alejandro Beltrán-Caballero, Ricardo Mar present Cusco, Inka Capital: Planning and Construction. Cusco is crucial to the understanding of the Inka plan of imperial integration. The Inka Road, or Qhapaq Ñan, diverged out from Cusco to integrate the four corners of Tawantinsuyu, the Inka Empire. This interdisciplinary team discusses major new research on Inka urbanism to understand the cosmological and physical plan and construction of the imperial City of Cusco, systematically transformed and mostly destroyed after the Spanish arrival in 1533. New empirical and technical data clarify interpretations of how Inka engineers successfully solved actual construction problems, management of local, human, and natural resources, and how the application of “common sense” can evolve into engineering knowledge.

Crayla Alfaro Aucca is an architect with a graduate degree in Cultural Heritage Management. Her research focuses on the historical evolution of the City of Cusco. As manager of the historic section of the Provincial Municipality of Cusco, Alfaro promotes the development of research projects and dissemination of the cultural heritage of the historic City of Cusco. She has participated in the management and urban renewal of public spaces and housing in the historic section of Cusco. Alfaro is also responsible for the editorial direction of the Municipality. She has published the following books (in Spanish): Cusco monumental: Ombligo del mundo; Machu Picchu santuario del cusco: Cien años para el mundo; Cusco monumental: Ombligo del mundo II; Antología quechua del Cusco: Qosqo Quechwasimipi Akllasqa Rimaykuna; Cusco: Identidad y desarrollo, and Cusco y la herencia del barroco andino. (Crayla was unable to present at the symposium.)

José Alejandro Beltrán Caballero holds a PhD in Architecture and is an Associate Researcher of the Seminar on Ancient Topography at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Specializing in Landscape Interpretation and Ancient Cities, Dr. Beltrán Caballero has collaborated on projects to virtually reconstruct archaeological sites in Europe (Tarragona and Rome) and in South America (Cusco).

Ricardo Mar is a Professor of Classical Archaeology at Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Holding graduate degrees in architecture (PhD, 1988), he specializes in ancient Roman urbanism, with major archaeological field experience in Rome and in Tarragona. He has been involved in restoration projects and patrimony assessments in Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain, including as director of the reconstruction project on Tarraco, the ancient Roman city beneath modern Tarragona.

This symposium was webcast on November 14, 2013 from the Rasmuson Theater at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

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