View images as a clickable sequence.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 1

1) Towards the northern edge of the Altiplano, just touched by tropical rainfall and drained by the headwaters of the Amazon, is the Sacred valley of the Inkas with the imperial capital at Cuzco and the famous site of Machu Picchu.

Landsat TM image, 30m resolution, circa 1990, with Band 7 displayed as red, Band 4 as green and Band 2 as blue.
Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 2

2) The "Sacred Valley" consists of two parallel valleys, that of the Urubamba (drained by the homonymous river) to the north and a valley to the south drained by two rivers: the Huatanay to the east, and the Anta (a tributary of the Urubamba River) to the west, almost linking the two valleys.

Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 3

3) Cuzco occupies a relatively narrow east-west valley, constrained by hills on either side.

Landsat TM image, 30m resolution, circa 1990, with Band 7 displayed as red, Band 4 as green and Band 2 as blue.
Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 4

4) With the hilltop fortress of Saqsaywaman, the layout of Cuzco resembles a puma.

Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 5

5) The street-plan of Cuzco shows its puma-like layout, with its fortified 'head' containing the military and administrative nerve-centre (Menotti 1998)

The Inkas: last stage of stone masonry development in the Andes, Francesco Menotti (1998)

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 6

6) Machu Picchu is located at the top of a peak within an incised bend of the river Urubamba, dominating this twisting artery of contact with the lowland world.

Landsat TM image, 30m resolution, circa 1990, with Band 7 displayed as red, Band 4 as green and Band 2 as blue.
Landsat TM imagery provided by NASA.

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 7

7) The location of Machu Picchu (view, inset) and its relation to the river Urubamba is clearly visible in this ASTER image. Click here for an external link to a 1m resolution QuickBird image of Machu Picchu.

NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team; Photographs

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 8

8) Machu Picchu photographed from the top of the Huayna Picchu.

Francesco Menotti 1995

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 9

9) Machu Picchu photographed from the Inka trail before entering the Citadel.

Francesco Menotti 1995

The Inka Sacrad Valley image 10

10) Machu Picchu photographed from the restored thatched house.

Francesco Menotti 1995

Visualisation

 



How to cite this page: Andrew Sherratt and Francesco Menotti (2004), 'Sites from Satellites: The Inka Sacrad Valley, Peru', ArchAtlas, Version 4.1, http://www.archatlas.org/SitesFromSatellites/sites.php?name=inka-sv, Accessed: 20 September 2017