Last weekend a few of us got up early on a Saturday to head to the Moray Terraces. It took a combi, an overstuffed station wagon (8 of us in one with the poor bottom of the car dragging the entire way) and 10 soles to get us there but it really was a fascinating and mysterious place. The terraces look like crop circles and while many theories abound as to what the purpose of the terraces was, there’s certainly no definitive answer. I do love how even long after they are gone the Incas left us quite a few mysteries to be pondered in the here and now.
The Moray Terraces are a series of Incan agricultural terraces constructed in concentric circles. The shape is really quite unique leading many to believe that Moray was a sort of agricultural laboratory or testing ground for the Incas. The site itself sits on a high plateau at about 11,500 ft while the largest set of depressions are about 98 ft deep. The altitude combined with orientation of the terraces to the wind and sun can create as much as a 27 degree temperature difference between the uppermost and bottom levels of the terraces. This difference in temperature was thought to have been used to test different climatic effects on a variety of crops by the Incas.