What we find interesting (among other things) is the familiar confusion among academics concerning this ancient complex. So much earth had to be moved by supposedly ancient primitives that various theories have been put forth to explain; ie. meteor impact craters, natural sink holes etc.
The use for the complex is also in dispute; a stadium with perfect acoustics that could seat 260,000; a religious complex; an agricultural research station....
Moray Amphitheater Complex. Click and drag photo to resize.
Moray is a great archaeological complex, formed by a system of platforms of enormous terraces that overlap, acquiring the shape of a gigantic theater. These beautiful terraces formed an agricultural laboratory, in which the incas experimented and obtained improvements. Incredible advances were made in agriculture, which was the incas’ main activity and the basis of their economic development.
The daring conceptions of the Inca constructions had no limits. Throughout the world, man has generally built from the ground upwards. In Moray they worked down, removing tons of stone and rocks and using thousands of workers for many generations, to give form to many groups of terracing in an almost perfect circular form.
It is possible that the word Moray comes from the term "a moray", corn harvesting or from "moraya" or "moray" which is the name for dehydrated potato. Barrionuevo describes the monument in the following way: "7 km. from Maras lie the hanging gardens of Moray, built in a gigantic trough. A series of circular platforms descend to a depth of 150 meters.
There the incas grew wheat, quinoa grain, panti, kantu flowers and other plants as part of an experiment. A system of canals where the rain accumulates today ensured the irrigation of the hanging terraces of the amphitheater. Moray was with no doubt an artificial paradise of plants and flowers, something like a greenhouse within the ground".
The decoration took advantage of the natural depressions in the terrain, which they shaped based on an architectural plan. This included the construction of a network of aqueducts and drains, for the irrigation and release of water brought by the rains. It was so perfectly built that it still works perfectly.
The experts agree that Moray is an agricultural complex. Today, on the Maras plateau, potatoes, lima bean, wheat and barley and little corn is grown due to the fact that the weather is too cold for this crop.
Until recently, the farmers of Moray grew corn, but it was later prohibited in order to protect the terraces. Historian Victor Angles says that at some point the inhabitants of the plateau and the gorge became enemies, interrupting trade.
This is what sparked the need to prepare the land for corn farming, and they decided to dig giant furrows to warm up the land in order to grow corn.
John Earl, a researcher into Andean history, measured the temperature of these terraces at different levels, finding there were different micro-climates. It was found that the lowest temperature was at the lower level followed by the natural plain, and finally the last steps, which registered lower temperatures still.
It is possible that the ancient settlers for some reason needed more corn, which could have been the reason for the construction of this important region. CuscoOnline
The Amphitheater of Moray (c. 2500 B.C.) circles natural meteor craters 40 miles from Cusco, Peru at about 10,000' altitude. The Aymara-speaking culture from Tiahuauaco, Bolivia, which developed this acoustically-perfect marvel had multiple uses in mind.
Ritual theater music and healing ceremonies involved large audiences (260,000) probably drawn for salt mined in the valley (Urubamba River) below, and evolving into important trade fairs. Agricultural seed development went on during growing season, each level defined in correspondence with equivalent altitudes for communities throughout the Andes.... MarsEarthConnection
Moray (3,500 meters) lies 74 km from the city of Cusco. It is famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces which appear to disappear into the earth like an artificial crater.
The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes (some of which run down to depths of 100 meters). It is believed that the terraces, built over containing walls filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, enabled the Incas to grow more than 250 plant species.
Only 38 km from Cuzco, or half an hour by car, there is a mysterious place known as "the four circular terraces of Moray", that gives the appearance of huge "fingerprints" embedded in a barren landscape, at 3,500 meters above sea level.
Moray, used for adapting plants to hostile climatic conditions, was one more instance of the extremely high level of agricultural expertise achieved by the Incas.
This was an agricultural research facility consisting of immense conical depressions, some 45 to 88m in diameter, cut into the limestone, where different climatic conditions were obtained according to terrace depth.
The terraces of this famous "sunken amphitheater" resembling an artificial crater, were built with containment walls and then filled with fertile earth and irrigated using complex irrigation systems. Thus, the graduated thermal variance between the surface and the bottom of the natural depressions was used to adapt different varieties of plants (over 250 vegetable species) on each terrace.
It is thought that the Incas used the experience obtained through their experiments with this type of "greenhouse" to organize the agricultural production of the whole of Tawantinsuyo.
Moray is a great archaeological complex, formed by admirable platforms system , huge terraces that are superposed concentrically taking the form of a huge amphitheater.
These beautiful terraces were part of a big agricultural laboratory, where the old Peruvian people experimented and achieved improvements. The got incredible advances in the agriculture, which was their principal activity and the base of the economic development.
The brilliant and bold conception of their inca constructions didn't have limits for the old Peruvia people.
All around the world men generally made construccions from the floor up. In Moray they worked from the floor down, taking out extraordinary amounts of rocks and stones, using thousands of workers during several generations, to form various groups of platforms in almost perfect circular form. Its perfection is so amazing that nowadays is still working.