South America is widely known for its historical places, artifacts, and culture. Several pre-Columbian civilizations such as Aztec, Sumer, Maya & Inca that lived in the continent possessed great knowledge that scientists still cannot fully understand. Peru is considered to be one of the most mysterious countries in the world. It keeps mysteries of Nazca petroglyphs, Ica stones, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Aramu Muru, and Saywite.
Sayhuite (or Saywite), an archeological site in Peru is particularly interesting. Some researchers consider it to be the work of the Incas, while others attribute it to the activities of pre-Incan cultures. Sayhuite is located 47 kilometers east of the city of Abancay, the Peruvian province of the Apurimac region. It takes only three hours by car to reach this place from Cusco, which was once the capital of the Inca Empire.
Sayhuite is regarded as a center of “sacred space” focusing on the cult of water. It is known for a granite monolith with 200 zoomorphic and geometric figures depicting mainly felines, frogs, reptiles, and snakes. Besides, there are figures of octopuses, pelicans, crabs, and monkeys there.
In 1982, historian and explorer John Hemming published a book “Monuments of the Incas,” where he mentioned that next to Sayhuite, the Incas had built a temple, covered with gold sheets. The temple was under the authority of priestess Asarpay, who killed herself not to be captured by the Spanish conquerors, by jumping into the nearby deep waterfall.
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The Sayhuite monolith is about two meters long and four meters wide. It is believed that the stone was associated with the cult of water. Regardless, American researcher Dr. Arlan Andrews believes that this monolith is a kind of analog of a hydraulic engineering model with ponds, canals, terraces, rivers, and other structures, on which ancient engineers practiced their skills for public water projects.
However, the stone could have been a practicing tool, although the stone is made of granite which is tough to process. But according to one hypothesis, the Incas learned to build irrigation systems on stone boulders, spending tremendous effort to process them. Archeologists doubt that the Incas were constructors.
Some people speculate that the Sayhuite monolith could have been a representation of the irrigation system. A huge number of zoomorphic figures carved on the stone also look like incomprehensible elements in this version. When creating their irrigation systems, the Incas did not seek to decorate them with a large number of figures and statues of animals. Then why did they carve them out of stone?
Some researchers believe that the Sayhuite monolith may not have been a Hydraulic model or any scale model of the Inca empire. They think that the stone is a map of natural habitats.
Sayhuite is located at the top of Concacha hill. However, there are other interesting artifacts on this hill. There are also other carved stones including a rock with carved stairways and ascending platforms, which is cracked down the center. It is also interesting that, apparently, all carved stones are brought to the hill from other locations which sign that all the rituals were performed in Sayhuite.
According to Silvia Motta and Adriano Gaspani, there could be a correlation between the orientation of some structures and the position of celestial bodies in the sky as the Sun, the Moon, and the stars.
Researchers could not find out for what purpose the stones had been built, but being in a ceremonial center is likely to have a religious significance, perhaps a symbolic representation of the universe as suggested by Mota and Gaspani, or a link to the cult of water.
Discover Peru writes: “The ancestors of the Incas were hunters who came from Asia crossing the Bering Strait. Over 20,000 years ago the Bering Strait connected Siberia and Alaska, it took several thousand years to populate and create civilizations in the Americas.”