Abstract and Keywords
At the time of the European invasion of the Andes (1532 ce), many of the shrines (huacas) around Cuzco were organized along ritual pathways (ceques) that radiated out from the Temple of the Sun, at the heart of the city. According to the few existing descriptions of this ritual system, there were more than 328 shrines, and they were conceptually organized along forty-two paths. The shrines were represented by a wide range of natural features, such as caves, boulders, springs, and mountaintops, as well as by artificial features, such as houses, fountains, and canals. Each of the shrines required prayers and offerings. Responsibility for maintenance of the shrines along each ceque was divided among the various kin groups of the city. Frequently called “the Cuzco ceque system,” this network of shrines and lines represents the most complex ritual systems yet identified in the ancient New World.
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