A fascinating document of an architectural, historical and cultural wonder, The Living Stones of Sacsayhuaman takes viewers on a journey to the outskirts of Peru where a team of Russian researchers work to uncover the mysteries of the stone walls built by the Incas.
This marvel of construction seems impossible even by today’s standards. Lacking any form of scripted communication, the Incas left behind no written indications of their customs. This has long complicated the quest to retrace and fully comprehend their astounding architectural achievements. Their structures can be found in a variety of sites from Ecuador to Chile, including Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo. The walls of Sacsayhuaman, however, are perhaps the most awe-inspiring and perplexing of all Incan structures. Massive in scale and sophisticated in its geometric precision, the sheer complexity of Sacsayhuaman left many questioning whether it was the work of gods or demons.
Thought to have been constructed in the middle of the 15th century, Sacsayhuaman features long stretching rows of stones, each weighing as much as three hundred tons. How were these blocks transported, and forced to fit together with such accuracy?
That is but one mystery confronted by a team of Russian geophysicists as they travel to the site during the summer of 2012. The film follows these researchers, and benefits from the wealth of finely detailed footage they captured on their expedition. They collect samples of the soil surrounding the structure, as well as several of the stone formations, all of which will undergo further in-depth study at a research laboratory in their homeland. These studies will hopefully indicate the types of stones that comprise the mammoth walls, the means by which they were joined, and the materials used to aid in the process of their construction.
Illuminating and transporting, The Living Stones of Sacsayhuaman reminds us of the awesome wisdom of ancient civilizations, and how they managed to transcend their minimal resources with maximum ingenuity and skill. In spite of the countless advances brought forth by our modern world, many of their most spectacular accomplishments may forever remain out of our reach of understanding.