The Inca terraced the steep hillsides of the Andes throughout their Empire. The physical labor required for the task must have been tremendous and is another example of their organizational skills. The Inca did not divide their thinking of the universe into components such as religion, military, and secular as we do. Their universe, and their construction, incorporated all purposes in one. The terracing serves several purposes with subtle variations in each unique situation. Terracing served defensive, agricultural, and settlement purposes.
The Inca built their empire through war and conquest. Their cities, villages, and religious sites were vulnerable to attack and were fortified for defense. At Sacsaywaman above Cuzco the massive ramparts rose up in several levels. Blocks as tall as 28 feet and weighing several hundred tons make up the 22 zigzag teeth.

Getting up past the walls required attackers to pass through doors that were readily protected by defenders above. Once past this layer of defense, two more tiers remained.

Ritual Baths


Terracing 2