Monday, June 15, 2015

Qurikancha Gold Altar Map of Cuzco Peru Inca Inti Sun Temple Deciphered Completely as Astronomy with Crux the Southern Cross at the Top of an Axis Running Along the Milky Way and the Galactic Meridian

The Inti "Sun" Temple of the Inca at Cuzco, Peru -- known today as Qurikancha, Qorikancha (Great Churches of the World) viz. Coricancha, and formerly as Inti Kancha in Quechua -- was the most important temple of the Inca Empire.

As will become clear, the temple is more correctly called the Temple of the Galaxy since it concentrates on the Galactic Meridian, in concordance with known Inca cosmology, which focused on the Milky Way.

The gold main altar wall map of the temple is known to be astronomical, but previous attempts by others to fully decipher the map have failed because researchers have understandably, but erroneously, especially for Northern Hemisphere natives and those used to putting the Southern Cross in the South, thus put Crux, the Southern Cross, near the bottom of the map, rather than at the top, where observers in the Southern Hemisphere would see it in the sky near THEIR celestial pole.

Below is a near facsimile of the original map of Juan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti Yamqui Salcamayhua, said to derive from the year 1613 AD, so that the map presumably shows the sky at some time in the more modern era. The notes made to the map sketch by the sketch maker indicate limited understanding of the astronomical system employed in the map, a map originally placed on the wall in gold by others, as this "interpreter" lacked knowledge of stellar details, a status which explains why his notes have never been very useful to anyone in assisting the map's decipherment. Indeed, many alleged identifications are simply wrong, starting with the human-faced alleged Sun figure, which, based on in its location on the map, could not be the Sun at that position by any stretch of the imagination when seen astronomically.

Note now the stars of Musca at the top left (our discovery), which have been ignored by everyone because they are drawn outside of the Temple walls, but this detail is in fact the major clue to decipherment, for it places the top of the map clearly at Crux, just to the right of Musca in the stellar heavens.

Our decipherment below of that map permits a revised, corrected interpretation of its astronomy and shows the axis of the map to run principally along the Milky Way and the Galactic Meridian from Crux to Gemini. Note here the similar style of cross-hatch stellar notation (here for Gemini) found also on the Cahokia Birdman Tablet, and also featured in a coming posting for Erere (Ererê) in Brazil.

Below is our decipherment of the Qurikancha Inti Sun Temple Astronomical Map. It is all really quite clear, once one knows where to start. Our own drawing and decipherment interpretation is based on a study of various maps and photographs found e.g. at:
Qurikancha Gold Altar Map of the Cuzco Peru Inca Sun Temple Deciphered as Astronomy with Crux the Southern Cross at the Top

The Corresponding Stars for Qurikancha with an underlying star map from Starry Night Pro
astronomy software --
-- but the interpretation and explanations are by Andis Kaulins,
who is unaffiliated with Starry Night Pro

  • As one can see, Crux, the Southern Cross is at the top of the Gold Altar Astronomical Map, flanked to the left by the stars of Musca, which are marked as being outside the walls of the temple.
  • Carina is the central large group of stars, though surely not seen then exactly as we see those stars in the modern era. Carina marks the elliptical shape in the middle of the map, running here down to Sirius. We shall see more central use of Carina in sky maps in the rock art of Ererêc, a municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.
  • To the left of Carina, the "sun face" does not mark the sun but marks the Large Magellanic Cloud ("LMC"), which has a bright circular shape.
  • The large star below LMC is Canopus, second brightest star in the sky
  • To the right of Carina, the figure marks the shape of Vela and Antlia.
  • Alphard in Hydra's neck is the star marked below that and is the brightest star in Hydra, known in Arabic as "the solitary one" because no other bright stars are near it, whence also the singular marking in this map.
  • The bottom of the ellipse is marked by Sirius in Canis Major, the brightest star in the night sky, nearly twice as bright as Canopus.
  • The cross shown there at the bottom of the ellipse is formed in Monoceros using stars of Canis Major, Monoceros and Procyon in Canis Minor. Note that the map gives different blackness weight to each of the two verticals of that cross because of the differing brightness of the stars used. Monoceros is largely ignored in astronomy today because its stars are fairly faint, but the cross on this map crosses virtually at the Galactic Meridian and the middle of the Milky Way, which was of importance to the ancients.
  • To the left of the bottom of the ellipse we see that the fourteen stars found there mark the stars of either Lepus alone or Columba and Lepus combined as rows of 3, 5, 4 and 2 stars. The only question is whether the 3 stars are from Lepus or from Columba above it. Preferred might be the option of Lepus alone, as in the image below at a star magnitude limit of 5.20, bit we regard the three upper stars as being the brightest stars of Columba as the most likely option, those being far more prominent than these three:

  • Below Columba and Lepus we then find Orion marked clearly by the 3 stars of Orion's Belt and two half-circles marking upper stars of Orion.
  • The line extending from Orion to the left marks the Celestial Equator in the general era around 1613 A.D., the presumed date of the map.
  • The jagged line left of Orion marks the extended length of Eridanus.
  • Below Orion there are 7 stars that either mark the "shield" of Orion which we have previously shown to have marked the Temple of the Seven Dolls, or, however, equally possible here are the bright stars of Taurus and the Hyades, especially since the map does not draw all 7 in one line.
  • The bottom of the Milky Way here is marked by the stars of Gemini as two figures and below them Gemini (or, also possible is an elongated, extended version of Auriga) as marked by a cross-hatched rectangle.
  • To right middle of the map one sees the nebulous Head of Hydra whose relatively faint stars are divided into rows of 3, 4, 3 and 2 stars each, as shown in the special cutout in the decipherment.
  • Marked below Hydra are Leo as an animal
  • Regulus seems to be extended from Cancer, which is shown as a roundish curling object.
  • Ursa Major is represented as a tree of life kind of figure.
Coming postings will show similarly-oriented rock art maps from Erere (Ererê) and nearby rock art sites in Brazil. Ererê is a municipality in the state of Ceará in the Northeast region of Brazil.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 102 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Qurikancha Gold Altar Map of Cuzco Peru Inca Inti Sun Temple Deciphered Completely as Astronomy with Crux the Southern Cross at the Top of an Axis Running Along the Milky Way and the Galactic Meridian

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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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