Astronomical observatory discovered in Machu Picchu
|"El Mirador" observatory, surveying team prepares for scanning with|
a stationary laser scan station [Credit: Mariusz Ziółkowski]
"Despite the difficult terrain we managed to perform 3D laser scans, which we then used to prepare a precise model of this amazing complex. Results of preliminary analysis indicate that it is a device used probably by a small group of Inca priests - astronomers for precise observations of the position of celestial bodies on the horizon, against the distinctive Yanantin mountain peaks" - said Prof. Ziółkowski.
The importance of the discovery is exceptional. Inca ceremonial complexes - large squares, south or west-oriented solstice were known were known before. However, this is a different type of temple.
|Prof. Jacek Kościuk scanning the interior of one of the observation niches|
with a portable 3D laser scanner [Credit: Mariusz Ziółkowski]
Detailed results of the work carried out in the El Mirador will be presented in the first week of September at the International Conference of the Societe Europeenne pour l' Astronomie dans la Culture in Athens.
Polish researchers have been are working in Machu Picchu since 2008, as part of an agreement between the University of Warsaw and the regional delegation of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture in Cusco. The scope of work includes stone conservation, 3D documentation, and archaeoastronomy.
Author: Szymon Zdziebłowski | Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [September 11, 2013]