National Geographic : 1913 Apr
Photo by Hiram Bingham A BIT OF OLLANTAYTAMBO, SOUTHERN PERU On top of the crag, which overlooks the little village of Ollantaytambo, the Incas and their predecessors built a remarkable fortress. Some of the single stones used in the con struction of this fortress weigh over eight tons. ble to visit Pacaritampu, and no one knew whether there were any buildings with windows, or caves, there. It was part of our plan to settle this question, and Dr. Eaton undertook the reconnaissance of Pacaritampu. He re ports the presence of a small ruin, evi dently a kind of rest-house or tavern, pleasantly located in the Apurimac Val ley, but not naturally defended by na ture and not distinguished by windows. In fact, there are neither windows nor caves in the vicinity, and the general topography does not lend itself to a ra tional connection with the tradition re garding Tampu Tocco (see page 415). The presence at Machu Picchu of three large windows in one of the most conspicuous and best-built structures led me to wonder whether it might not be possible that the Incas had purposely de ceived the Spaniards in placing Tampu Tocco southwest of Cuzco when it was actually north of Cuzco, at Machu Picchu. The Incas knew that Machu Picchu, in the most inaccessible part of the Andes, was so safely hidden in tropical jungles on top of gigantic precipices that the Spaniards would not be able to find it unless they were guided to the spot. It was naturally to their advantage to con ceal the secret of the actual location of Tampu Tocco, a place which their tra ditions must have led them to venerate. The topography of the region meets the necessities of the tradition: The presence of windows in the houses might readily give the name Tampu Tocco, or "place of temporary residence where there are windows," to this place, and the three conspicuous windows in the principal temple fits in well with the tradition of the three brothers coming out of three windows.