Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student


Signs of intelligent life: alien or Incan?

Alien visitation, religious ceremonies and potato fields have all been postulated as reasons for the grand Incan ruins of Moray.

Of course, none of them are exactly correct. The world’s disbelief is perhaps one of the last holdovers of colonialism.

Its series of terraces, which can be easily scaled with the use of built-in stairs, are one of the greatest agricultural wonders of the ancient world. But for years insufficient research and hasty conclusions have clouded the site with misconceptions.

Moray is an experimental Incan seedbed of staggering complexity.

It features three sets of circular terraces, each calibrated to a different temperature, many of which contain rocks and soils specifically transported to the site so the

Incans could study how the seeds were affected by these minute changes.
There are even built-in irrigation channels that feed on natural water sources.

So why did it take more than seven decades to figure this out, given the overwhelming archeological evidence?

A tour guide at the site put it most simply when she said, “People thought the Inca were too stupid.”

The study of Incan culture has been plagued for years by people who consider their famous stonework and mountaintop ruins too advanced for a Pre-Columbian culture.

The books of Erich von Daniken, for example, insist that such advanced technology can only be a result of contact with aliens. Anyone who has seen the fourth Indiana Jones movie can tell just how popular this idea is with conspiracy theorists.

Even now, tourists delight in the idea that they are standing in a sacred religious site.

They gather in the center of the circles to pray, meditate and feed of off the “energy” they say exists there.

Even now the occasional guide will peddle tales of Incan religious symbols and customs designed to make the terraces more mysterious.

It’s difficult to explain to someone who has never been to Peru, but the Incan culture isn’t really gone. It’s still here, existing as the pride of the people and waiting impatiently for the world to remember it.

Right now, the terraces are undergoing massive facelifts.

“The stairs aren’t as nice as the Incan ones,” a guide laments. “I miss them.”

Get stories like this in your inbox