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This is an aerial view of modern day Cuzco. In the center of the picture, the cathedral of Cuzco can be seen.
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Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Cuzco

This is an aerial view of Cuzco. In the center of the picture, the cathedral of Cuzco can be seen. This cathedral was built in the 17th century.

Cuzco is located in Southern Peru. It is the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. It is the oldest, continuously occupied city in the Americas. In ancient times, Cuzco was the ceremonial capital and hub of the Inca road network which made up of about 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles) of roads.

Ancient Cuzco was also closely linked to the Sun. In fact, at the center of the ancient Cuzco, there was a Temple of the Sun called Coricancha. It is thought that Coricancha served as an observatory for solstices, equinoxes, eclipses and other important time markers. Religious rituals and daily life (such as in the planting of crops) were based on these time markers. From Coricancha emanated 42 sacred lines or ceques. Along these ceques, there were shrines or huacas that were important to the Incas. These huacas could be anything from canals to fountains to stone markers.

Last modified August 15, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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Cuzco

This is an aerial view of Cuzco. In the center of the picture, the cathedral of Cuzco can be seen. This cathedral was built in the 17th century. Cuzco is located in Southern Peru. It is the ancient capital...more

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