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Incallajta, the largest Inca site in the Kollasuyo

Date of Submission: 01/07/2003
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Viceministerio de Cultura, Ministerio de Desarrollo Económico Palacio Chico Potosí esq. Ayacuc
Coordinates: 17º35' S / 65º25' W
Ref.: 1815

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The archeological site of Incallajta, with a surface area of 67 hectares, is among the main Inca sites in the country. Once they had conquered the Collao territories, the Incas marched deep into the semi-tropical valleys of what now are the Cochabamba and Santa Cruz states. There, they established a series of cities, specially fortified to control de advances of the Chiriguano indians. The Incas created, among other sites, Inca Racay, near Sipesipe in the state of Cochabamba, where they also built the fortified city of Incallajta. In the state of Santa Cruz they settled in Samaipata (WHS). Incallajta was probably built around 1463 and 1472 during the rule of Tupa Inca Yupanqui and later reconstructed by the Inca Huayana Capac. According to the historian José de Mesa, Incallajta can be identified as the Pocona fortress mentioned by the Spanish chronicler Sarmiento de Gamboa. The site is an anormous complex, made of stone and similar to the many others that exist in the Cuzco area, specially Macchu Picchu. It has close to forty buildings and a defensive wall. The ruins that are known best today belong to the Kalanka, a big space that was probably covered and has a longitude of 70meters, 12 doors and 44 niches. The only architectural luxury of this big spaces –according to Erland Nordenskiöld, which was the first on to cientifically describe them in 1913-14– are the niches, so characteristic of Inca architecture. This is the bigges Inca complex on Bolivian territory. Besides the Kallanka, it has habitational, defensive, military, religious agricultural –tacanas and circular silos– areas and towers for astronomical use. The archeological site of Incallajta was the biggest and most important administrative center of the region, with the purpose of reaching the lower lands of our territory.