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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Concentric Circles of Life

On Friday, we were able to make it to Moray, a Incan archeological site. Built in around 1400 by a community of only 30 people, these incredible concentric circles were used as experimental agricultural planes. The idea of the circles, going deeper and deeper into the ground was to be able to see how the changes in humidity, temperature, rain and wind changes between the levels would affect the plants. Cristofer, our extremely helpful guide spoke about the ingenuity of the Inca people and how many products that we have now came from experimental plots like these ones. Potatoes, maiz, quinoa and many more were extremely fruitful in these areas. The stairs that are visible in the first photo were placed diagonally not only because they are aesthetically pleasing but also because the llamas and alpacas who are capable of climbing regular stairs, wouldn’t go into the fields and eat the products.

The second site, next to first larger one, had its original walls, where as the first site is a reconstruction. When the Spanish came to the Incan Empire in the 1500’s, many sites such as these were destroyed. The piles of rocks visible in the photo, are piles of the original wall that are eventually going to replaced and reconstructed. This second site, was used by the Spanish as a theater for watching bull fights. We had an interesting discussion about how the Spanish came to a foreign community and simply used the things that they saw in the ways that they already new from their own culture. Not even bothering to think about how a circular descending field could be very productive, they chose to use it as a form of entertainment. This happened in many places across the entire empire. Altogether the trip to Moray was extremely educational- an important distinction between tourists and travellers!!

Photos from Danielle!