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Uscunta


Uscunta is a large pilgrimage site spread over two mountain tops named Uscunta and Warmitalle (or Huarmitalle).

 

The ushnu platforms at Uscunta are separated by the wide open plain, with one situated slightly higher than the other. One on grey white bedrock and the other on red material expresses the dual social structure of Inca communities. Great halls (kallanka), burial towers (chullpa) and grain stores (collca) type structures are present also.

The top of the pinnacle forming the summit of Uscunta is crowned by a number of Andean stone obelisks known as aaywas. The very limited soil cover over the bedrock outcropping around the structure indicates that the fills will have been brought in from some distance away. The view of the eastern horizon is much closer and more impeded than the rest of the horizon profile.

The Uscunta site was unique in that its sound projections in its use as a performance theatre are different from all other ushnus studies. See the ethnohistory page for more information.

While the architectural dig gave up no interesting artefacts, many items were found at surface level including 73 tools such as blades, hammer stones and scrapers made from basalt, obsidian, quartz and andesite. Stone balls were also found which researchers believe may have been used in a game. In addition there are 676 items of pottery, mostly jars and bowls and several fragments of plates. One of the more interesting finds was a small copper or silver spatula or spoon, with a human figure standing on top of the handle with the left hand pointing skyward and the right hand pointing to the ground.


Image captions:
 

1-2. Views of the remains at Uscunta
3. Testing the soundscape
4-14. Views of the platform and remains at Uscunta