11 | 15

John Rowe and the Fortress of Sacsahuamán

Sacsahuaman Fortress, near Cuzco, Peru.
Sacsahuaman Fortress, near Cuzco, Peru.

John Rowe was one of the most productive scholars of Peruvian archaeology, having authored more than 300 publications over the course of his impressive career examining the Paracas, Nasca, and Inca cultures of southern Peru. His paper "Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest," published in 1946, is still considered a classic reference on the topic.

In a 1973 National Geographic article, author Loren McIntyre dubbed Rowe the "world’s leading expert on the Incas." When the article was published, Rowe had already spent 30 years studying the origins of the Inca capital of Cusco. Rowe said of all the ruins, the one that fascinated him most was the fortress of Sacsahuamán. Sacsahuamán is believed to have once been a royal retreat with zigzag walls constructed from some of the largest stones—weighing up to 300 tons—ever used in Inca masonry.

Text Source: Seidler, Rosalie, Ned M. Seidler, and Loren McIntyre. "The Lost Empire of the Incas." National Geographic Magazine. Dec. 1973: [729]+. National Geographic Virtual Library. Rowe, John. "Inca Culture at the Time of the Spanish Conquest." Washington, Smithsonian Institution, 1946: [183-330]. Handbook of South American Indians.
Photograph by:
  • Bates Littlehales