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Tipon    

The Instituto Nacional de Cultura - the National Institute of Culture - is taking painstaking steps to rebuild and restore the aquaducts and terraces

Tipon, which lies just south of Cuzco, was sacred to the Inca.  Dating back to the 1400's, it was thought to be both the pillar on which the world rested and the cradle of the Andean world. 

Surrounded by a great wall, the beautifully constructed terraces, set with vertical channels fed by natural springs, were used as a sort of agricultural research station by the Inca to develop special crop strains.  The crops sowed, mainly cereals and legumes, were carefully designed to maximize and store the sun's energy, creating in this way a valley microclimate.  This was necessary to facilitate the storage of the harvest in Qolcas, or storehouses, to be used in times of famine.  The terraced hills formed hundreds of growing areas, meant to last the ages.

Tipon is found in a slightly warm ravine at an altitude of 11,480 feet.  Because of its location and the presence of a surrounding wall, this place must have been a very exclusive site.  The twelve very fertile terraces are very impressive and are still cultivated today, and their retaining walls were built with well carved stones.  Even  more impressive is the irrigation system that is still serving agriculture and was made taking advantage of the water spring existing in this spot.  Tipon has carved stone channels, precisely calculated and sometimes with almost vertical falls that constitute hydraulic engineering masterwork.  The irrigation canals carved through the rock are linked to other canals throughout the area, and carry water for over 500 miles.

3 Important Plants

Quinine tree - used to fight malaria

Coca plant - used for energy and digestion

Una de Gato (Cat's Claw) - used for cancer

 

• Corn was always planted with a fish head

• There were over 150 different varieties of corn (maize) grown

• Many flower seeds were and still are edible

All the medicinal plants used by the Peruvian people today came from the knowledge of the ancient Incas

 

Impressive irrigation is both functional and esthetically decorative

Some fountains must have had ceremonial purposes

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